Judas Priest shared an IG post to share their lead guitarist Richie Faulkner’s statement, which was released on their official website. In his statement, Faulkner opened up about his current health status and how Metallica saved him.

The Louder Than Life festival took place between September 23 and 26 in Louisville. The festival was highly appreciated thanks to its iconic line-up, which consisted of Metallica, Judas Priest, Korn, and Machine Gun Kelly, with many more.

Judas Priest performed on the last day of the festival before Metallica. During their concert, the band’s lead guitarist Richie Faulkner felt pain in his chest and was taken to the hospital immediately. Later, he was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm and complete aortic dissection.

After he underwent a 10-and-a-half hour surgery, Faulkner highlighted that he wouldn’t have been alive if they hadn’t performed before Metallica with a longer setlist. He stated that he needs time to recover. Also, he advised his fans to go to their doctors for regular check-ups.

Here’s what Faulkner wrote in his statement:

“I’ve always been grateful for the opportunities I’ve been presented with. I’ve always considered myself THE most fortunate man ever – to be able to play my favorite music – with my favorite band – to my favorite people around the world…

Today just being able to type this to you all is the biggest gift of all…

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… I was taken to nearby Rudd Heart & Lung Center and quickly went into what turned out to be a ten and a half hour emergency open-heart surgery. Five parts of my chest were replaced with mechanical components….. I’m literally made of metal now…

It could have all ended so differently – we only had an hour set that night due to Metallica’s performance after us – and it does cross my mind 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…?”

He added:

“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…

I’ve been moved to tears and humbled by friends, family, my fantastic band, crew, and management, and also you guys sending me videos and messages of love and support during the last week – I thank you all so much and 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…!

One last thing maniacs, this came totally out of the blue for me – no history of a bad heart, no clogged arteries, etc… My point is I don’t even have high cholesterol and this could’ve been the end for me. If you can get yourselves checked – do it for me, please…

Lots of love and see you down the front again soon…

Richie…”

You can see the photo below.

Photo Credit: Judas Priest – Instagram