Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner has been discharged from the Louisville, Kentucky hospital where he had been convalescing after undergoing 10-and-a-half hours of open-heart surgery last week, and is now resting at his home in Nashville.
While performing with Priest at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky on September 26, Faulkner suffered from “an aortic aneurysm and complete aortic dissection.”
After being taken to the Rudd Heart & Lung Center at the University of Louisville, Faulkner was taken to surgery, where – according to the guitarist – five parts of his chest were "replaced with mechanical components." Faulkner said that surgeons informed him that people who suffer from similar cardiac events "don’t usually make it to the hospital alive."
The Louder Than Life festival took place just four miles away from the hospital where Faulkner was taken, and Priest happened to be second on the bill to Metallica on the evening of the 26th, rather than scheduled for a full set.
“He was only four miles away, but miles equal minutes and he did not have many to spare,” Dr. Siddharth Pahwa, a cardiothoracic surgeon at University of Louisville Health, said in a statement. “Mr. Faulkner is alive today because the stars aligned. He had an outstanding emergency care team, he was close to a world class heart center, and he was quick to recognize he needed help.”
Following Faulkner's hospitalization, Judas Priest postponed their 50 Heavy Metal Years tour indefinitely. Though Faulkner mentioned that he has "a recovery road ahead of me," he added that "as soon as I’m able to get up and running again, you’ll be the first to know and we’ll get back out there delivering the goods for you all!"