Drake White / Twitter
Country singer Drake White is known for his soulful vocals and his incredible ability to make up lyrics on the spot. His fans look forward to his “Freestyle Friday” videos, where he plays for several minutes with lyrics that he makes up right then and there.
On Friday, August 16, White was rushed to the hospital after almost collapsing on stage at his Roanoke, Virginia show. According to PEOPLE, 15 minutes into his set, he began stumbling before being caught by one of his crew members as he was falling down.
He tweeted his apologies to his fans a little while later, saying, “Sorry we had to cut it short tonight. I’m getting checked out by some of Roanoke’s finest docs and will keep you posted. Thanks for your prayers and continued support. Love ya!”
He cancelled his Myrtle Beach show on August 17, letting fans know he was still resting in Roanoke.
After a few days, he felt it was time to finally tell his fans what was going on with him, and reveal a secret he and his family had been hiding for some time now.
White was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in January, which according to PEOPLE, is “an abnormal tangle of arteries and veins in the brain that disrupts normal blood flow.”
The “Makin’ Me Look Good Again” singer told the magazine, “It was basically stealing blood from my brain. The neurologist told me that I should be thankful it was caught in time, because it could have caused a stroke.”
Since the diagnosis, White has been going through several embolization procedures to cut off blood flow to the vessel that are affects. He had one just four days before his Roanoke show. Even before his near-collapse, White had decided he was ready to talk about his condition.
“I’m not telling this story for me,” he said. “Someone needs to hear it and God wants me to share it. It will help people believe in miracles, and I will feel that energy. The world needs that kind of energy right now.”
How he found out about his AVM, which he has likely had since birth, was during last winter when he developed a headache that wouldn’t go away. He woke up with it and by 2pm, he was seeing spots in his left eye, and reveals that he left side started going numb.
“I tried to sleep it off but woke up with the same intense headache,” he said.
He and his wife of five years, Alex, headed to the emergency room where he underwent an MRI and an angiogram. Test results came back and it was confirmed, he had a brain arteriovenous malformation.
“The next thing I know, there is a guy walking in with the word ‘neurologist’ on his nameplate. He told me, ‘You have a mass in the back of your head. It’s treatable, but it’s going to take a while.’ It was at that moment Alex and I said to each other that whatever it is, we would battle through it. Our faith went into overdrive.”
Doctors have “knocked out 75% of the mass” and White’s goal is to be AVM-free by the end of the year. He’s had four embolizations in the past eight months while keeping up with his touring schedule. One of those took place 48 hours before a concert.
He admits that he will be taking it a little easier in the coming months, focusing a bit more on his health. We wish his the best and will keep him and his family in our prayers.
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