This past Monday marked the one-year anniversary of Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner's near-fatal aortic aneurysm at the end of the band's performance at the Louder than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
Faulkner, who underwent a lifesaving heart operation that night in September 2021, marks the milestone with a new Facebook post. In it, he reveals that he's now recovering from another heart operation he had six weeks ago.
"I'm fortunate and grateful to be here a year later typing this," the 42-year-old rocker writes. "My support system at home, the hospitals and of course from all you metal maniacs has been second to none and I thank you all. I'm not completely out of the woods yet."
Richie explains that just before Judas Priest launched its 2022 Europe tour in late May, "scans showed a hole in one of the connections between the synthetic graft and my own aorta that was causing a leak. The blood from the leak was forming an [eight-centimeter] sack that was surrounding my heart."
Faulkner continues, "The doctors were okay for me to tour Europe, but as soon as I got back I had to go under again for another open-heart surgery. So 3 days after we played Belgium [in August], they went in, removed the sack and fixed the leak."
Faulker notes that now, six weeks after his second open-heart procedure, he's "feeling well and strong" and is looking forward to seeing the fans again when Judas Priest kicks off its fall 2022 U.S. tour leg October 13 in Wallingford, Connecticut.
He adds, "My surgeons were always confident that it was enough time for me to recover and get back out on the road and it seems like they were right."
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