“Mr Faulkner is alive today because the stars aligned” says heart surgeon who saved Judas Priest guitarist’s life

    Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner is recuperating at home in Nashville after being discharged from a Louisville, Kentucky hospital following life-saving emergency heart surgery.

    Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection onstage during Judas Priest’s set at the Louder Than Life festival on September 27, and, according to Dr. Siddharth Pahwa, who led the medical team who operated on the 41-year-old English guitarist, “Mr Faulkner is alive today because the stars aligned.”

    “He was only four miles away, but miles equal minutes and he did not have many to spare,” said Dr. Pahwa, cardiothoracic surgeon with UofL Health – UofL Physicians. “He had an outstanding emergency care team, he was close to a world class heart centre, and he was quick to recognise he needed help.”

    Faulkner described his medical emergency in graphic detail earlier in the week, revealing that his aorta ruptured and started to spill blood into his chest cavity while he performed Painkiller with Priest.

    “From what I’ve been told by my surgeon, people with this don’t usually make it to the hospital alive,” he said. “Five parts of my chest were replaced with mechanical components. I’m literally made of metal now.”

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