One of the doctors who saved Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner’s life was Mark Slaughter… but not the one familiar to old-school metal fans.

It turns out the guitarist’s recent heart emergency was even more metal than we thought. First, his “aorta ruptured and started to spill blood” while performing “Painkiller” as Judas Priest were finishing their Louder Than Life set on September 26th — which is ridiculously metal itself, especially considering that Faulkner finished playing the song. He was then rushed to the nearby Rudd Heart and Lung Center at UofL Health – Jewish Hospital for a 10-plus-hour open-heart surgery, where as the guitarist put it, “Five parts of my chest were replaced with mechanical components … I’m literally made of metal now.”

If that wasn’t enough, it now it turns out that that there was another metal component to the harrowing episode. One of the doctors who was “up all night” to help save Faulkner was Mark S. Slaughter, a professor and chairman of the Department Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.


Of course, metal fans are more familiar with another Mark Slaughter, the singer of hair-metal veterans Slaughter. Safe to the say, the Metal Gods were looking after Faulkner. If any of the circumstances had been different, he might not have made it.

“He was only four miles away, but miles equal minutes and he did not have many to spare,” said the lead surgeon, Dr. Siddharth Pahwa. “Mr. Faulkner is alive today because the stars aligned. He had an outstanding emergency care team, he was close to a world class heart center, and he was quick to recognize he needed help.”

The connection with hair metal doesn’t stop there. Faulkner’s girlfriend is Mariah Lynch, daughter of Dokken guitarist George Lynch.


Thankfully, the guitarist is out of the hospital and now resting at home, and we wish him a fast and healthy recovery. In the meantime, Judas Priest’s remaining 2021 tour dates have been postponed.

Watch Richie Faulkner perform “Painkiller” with Judas Priest at Louder Than Life as his aorta ruptured, followed by the music video for Slaughter’s “Up All Night.” And to be fair, we’ve also included a video featuring Dr. Mark Slaughter.