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JUDAS PRIEST's Richie Faulker Thanks Cardiothoracic Surgeon For Saving His Life

Late last month, Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner underwent extensive heart surgery. Faulkner suffered an aortic aneurysm on stage at Louder Than Life on September 26 and was rushed to the UofL Health – Rudd Heart and Lung Center for a 10-plus hour operation. Faulkner recounted the horrifying experience earlier this week, saying his aortic artery ruptured midway through his "Painkiller" solo. We wish Faulkner all the best with his health and a peaceful recovery at home. Today, he made his first public appearance on television.

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A new video from local news outlet WHAS11 shows Faulker on video link with them and cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Siddharth Pahwa, who Faulker credited with saving his life.

"I became a bit light-headed. It didn't go away. I've never fainted before. I've never passed out, but I knew that this felt like I was going to pass out in a minute." Faulkner said

"Luckily, it was about half way into the song," he continued. "So obviously, I had to finish the song. If I had known how important it was, maybe I would have got off there a bit quicker. But I think that's the whole point for me. I had no idea whatsoever what it was."

Thankfully, this happened during the last song of the band's 50 minute set. "Luckily, it was a short set, and we would have came off stage any way. Otherwise, I don't know I would have came off stage."

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As soon as Faulker got off stage, he experienced a sharp pain. "That's when it exploded. The more I read about it, the more astonishing it is to me to think that I even made it to the hospital," he added. "The amount of time when I actually go the pain and when I turned up in the hospital and when we were actually operating, it was quite a lot of time. The more I read about it, the more unbelievable — that amount of time — I don't know how I'm still around today."

Faulker encouraged fans to get checked out to prevent this sort of thing from happening to them. "Listen, I'm 41 with no history," he said. "You could be the same. Go and get checked. Get in front of it if there's anything like that. If there's not, great. Take it from me: Just go and get yourself checked out."

As for when he expects to play with Priest: "Get better first. Don't rush. And then we'll get back to seeing when we can get back out there and play some more Priest. But at the moment, it's focusing on getting ready, getting better, getting my energy back and my strength back. And at some point, I'll pick up the guitar again and seeing if I can knock out some riffs."

Faulker then spoke to Dr. Pahwa directly saying "You saved my life. My little girl saw me come home, and that just means everything. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart. There's really nothing more to say other than that, really."

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You can watch some of the video below.

[via Blabbermouth]

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