Richie Faulkner had a scary moment on stage during his performance of “Painkiller” in Kentucky while performing at the Louder Than Life Festival. He survives a near-fatal rupture of his aorta, but as his heart was spilling blood into his chest cavity, all the while not missing a single note of his solo in “Painkiller.”
After being rushed to the hospital and going through emergency surgery which turned out successful, Faulkner released a statement that reads: “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. 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.”
— Judas Priest (@judaspriest) October 6, 2021
Fan shot footage from the performance shows Faulkner ripping it up on stage as his aorta ruptures internally, all the while not faltering in his performance.
According to the National Library of Medicine via Nashville Vein Center, “only about one in five people survive a ruptured aortic aneurysm.” Faulkner thanked hospital staff in his statement while pondering the what could have been: “The amazing Heart & Lung Center was 4 miles away from the gig site – if it had been further away… We can always drive ourselves crazy with these things but I’m still alive thankfully. Whatever the circumstances, when watching that footage, the truth is, knowing what I know now, I see a dying man.”
Meanwhile Judas Priest have postponed the rest of their tour dates to allow for Faulkner to have a speedy and stress free recovery.