Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner has given an update on his condition after undergoing emergency heart surgery

Last week, the band postponed the remainder of the U.S. dates on their rescheduled 50th anniversary tour, the 50 Heavy Metals Years Tour, due to Faulkner having to go to hospital.

Now, as per Ultimate Classic Rock, he’s detailed exactly what happened last week, revealing that he had an “aortic aneurysm”.

“I’ve always been grateful for the opportunities I’ve been presented with,” Faulkner said in a statement to fans shared with UCR. “I’ve always considered myself THE most fortunate man ever – to be able to play my favourite music – with my favourite band – to my favourite people around the world. Today just being able to type this to you all is the biggest gift of all.”

Faulkner continued by describing in detail the scary event last week. “As I watch footage from the Louder Than Life Festival in Kentucky, I can see in my face the confusion and anguish I was feeling whilst playing ‘Painkiller’ as my aorta ruptured and started to spill blood into my chest cavity,” he said. “I was having what my doctor called an aortic aneurysm and complete aortic dissection.

From what I’ve been told by my surgeon, people with this don’t usually make it to the hospital alive. I was taken to nearby Rudd Heart & Lung Center and quickly went into what turned out to be a 10 ½ hour emergency open heart surgery.”

Faulkner also pondered how things could have turned out very differently. “If it was a full set, would I have played until total collapse? If it hadn’t happened in such a high adrenaline situation would my body have been able to keep going long enough to reach the hospital? The amazing Heart & Lung Center was 4 miles away from the gig site – if it had been further away…”

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He finished his message by thanking his friends, family, his band and their fans for all their support. “I thank you all so much. Although I have a recovery road ahead of me, 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!”

Judas Priest of course postponed their tour after Faulkner’s heart problem. There’s no update yet on when it will be rescheduled.

For more on this topic, follow the Metal Observer.