Former IRON MAIDEN singer Paul Di’Anno says that he is lucky to be alive after developing a deadly infection several years ago.
In an interview with the Spanish web site Mariskalrock.com conducted by Jason Cenador, the vocalist spoke about his health problems and discussed his plans for the future.
“I nearly died four years ago,” Paul revealed.
“I had sepsis in Argentina. I was very, very sick. I just about made it home to England and then straight to hospital. I’ve been in and out of the hospital for four years now. I had operations done on both legs. I [haven’t been able to] walk for four years. It’s been very, very tough for me at the moment. Because of the sepsis, I keep getting infections, so they can’t do the operations on my legs and stuff like that when they want to do them. And it’s been very difficult. At the moment, I’ve only got one knee. The other knee has been taken out, but there’s no new knee put in, so it’s been a cement thing. But I wanna play, obviously, but I can’t do that until I’m fixed. I haven’t stopped playing music, and I’ve got no plans to retire — I wanna keep playing — but I need to get well.”
Elaborating on his recovery process, Di’Anno said:
“I’m not getting better and better — not yet, until I’ve had both of my knees operated on. The next operation is gonna be to take my left knee out and then put a replacement straight away, which then I’ve gotta do rehab to try to stand up on that one leg. And then I can sort of move about on crutches after a while, which would be fantastic. I may have to sit down on the stage, but if I can get up on one leg, it makes it easier for flying and things like that.
I still may have to travel around on a wheelchair a bit, but if I’m playing on stage in a wheelchair, at least I can hop about on the crutches and then maybe sit down and sing. But I caught another infection two weeks ago, which they will not operate on you while you’ve got an infection. Unfortunately, this is gonna be the rest of my life, because of sepsis. I was so lucky. The sepsis really hits you hard, and on the London plane home from Argentina, everyone was saying to me, ‘Hello, sir. Are you okay? Are you okay?’ And I’m, like, ‘Yeah, why don’t you f*ck off and leave me alone?’ sort of thing. I didn’t realize I was actually dying.
And when I actually got home and I collapsed on the floor, I had my cell phone with me. I was on my own, ’cause my wife and kids were over in America. I got the ambulance people. They came down and they kicked my door in and took me to the hospital. I spent eight months in that hospital… And you’ve got 45 minutes to pump you full of antibiotics or you’ll die. I just about made that. Eight months recovery there, then into a care home for another three months, and then I moved into this new house of mine, which is adapted for wheelchair users at the moment… And then it’s been unlucky with the infections; otherwise I would have been up and running by now. But they won’t operate on me for two years, with sepsis, because you have to make sure it’s completely clear of you. And now I’ve got this other thing called MRSA, which you get from being in hospital, which is unfortunate. But, anyway, at the moment, I’m clearing out very well, so I’m waiting for the next call I get, which will be for surgery, and get things done”.