Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner underwent another heart surgery this past August, 11-months after he nearly died onstage due to a heart condition.
Faulkner was rushed to the hospital in September 2021 with chest pain after a Priest gig at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky. Faulkner, who had no previous family history of heart issues, suffered from acute cardiac aortic dissection — a highly rare and extremely deadly condition in which the largest artery in the body breaks open.
The 42-year-old guitarist was rushed to the nearby Rudd Heart and Lung Center, where doctors saved his life over a harrowing 10-hour surgery.
In a new interview with That Fuzzing Rock Show, Faulkner revealed that he had a subsequent open-heart surgery in August.
"They found something just before the European leg [of Judas Priest's world tour]," Faulkner explained. "And it was basically a hole in the repair and there was a leak — I'd basically sprung a leak in there — and it was causing a sack to form around my heart."
Two days after Judas Priest's European tour wrapped up this summer, Faulkner headed back into surgery. He says he's been doing cardiac rehab and will be ready for the band's U.S. tour dates this month.
"I'm doing well — feeling strong, feeling healthy," he continued. "But yeah, it was a bit daunting, to be honest, to be touring Europe knowing that that was going on. But you've gotta put your trust in the doctors, and it worked out okay; I'm recovering."
You can watch the full Faulkner interview via the YouTube player below.