Of Mice & Men’s Austin Carlile on Heart Surgery: ‘I Was Clinically Dead for Three Hours’
It's a good year for Of Mice & Men's Austin Carlile, especially when you consider where he was in 2015. The band shut down their spring touring a few days early when Carlile was hospitalized and later underwent heart surgery to deal with ongoing issues brought on by Marfans Syndrome. Carlile is back onstage this year, but recently shared some thoughts on the experience with Metal Hammer.
The vocalist says, "It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. It’s hard to go through something like that that’s dangerous in general, and just to not know if you’re gonna be there, four, five or six hours later. When I had my heart surgery, my heart was stopped. They put my head in a whole thing of ice, to stop your brain activity, you’re dead. I was clinically dead for three hours while they did the procedure."
He recalls being prepped for surgery, adding, "There’s so much stuff going through my head. Like, 'Am I going to see my mum? What’s going to happen?' Like, who knows, I was kind of excited. But the one thing I remember right before I went under, and before they put in the relax sedative into you, I was just sitting there and my sister and my dad were there and they said goodbye and started wheeling me back. I just remember being so at peace, and I remember saying, 'Look God, this is in your hands.' It was out of my hands completely at that point."
He continues, "I said, 'I have to have faith that you have a plan for me and you want me to do something with my life. And if you don’t, then it’s just going to end right here. And if it doesn’t, then I need to wake up and do that.'"
Carlile calls the pain after the surgery the worse pain he suffered in his life. The singer spent two weeks in the hospital in recovery, then spent another week-and-a-half in the hospital while fighting off a case of pneumonia.
"Just that whole experience alone really taught me a lot about myself and it taught me a lot of where I wanted to go next," says Carlile, who recently was baptized just as the band was about to return to the road.
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