CHRIS JERICHO Says Life-Threatening Pulmonary Embolism Caused Cancelation Of FOZZY Shows In U.K. Last December
July 24, 2022
During a recent episode of his "Talk Is Jericho" podcast, FOZZY frontman and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho told the whole story behind his health issue last December that resulted in FOZZY canceling shows for the first time ever. Chris detailed the symptoms that started during FOZZY's U.K. tour that led to his hospitalization and pulmonary embolism diagnosis in London. He spoke candidly about the harrowing days having trouble breathing, watching his oxygen levels drop, and seeing specialists to help turn his condition around. He discussed his extended hospital stay, being stuck in London unable to fly before the holidays, and the hard work he put in once he was able to return home to Tampa.
Jericho said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Back in November, end of November of 2021, FOZZY had a tour of the U.K. And first show was in Liverpool, and that one went good. The second one was in Manchester. And then the third one, I believe, was in Newcastle. And Manchester, after the show, I went out, had a couple of drinks, got back in the bus fairly late. And the next day in Newcastle when we were doing the show I felt a little bit winded — which was weird, because I'm never winded on stage. Even if it's super hot — sometimes you play a venue that has a low roof or something along those lines, and you get super hot to where you're, like, 'Oh my gosh. It's hard to breathe.' This was not that. The venue in Newcastle, the Riverfront, was a nice place [with] a high roof, not super hot. But I found myself kind of searching for breath, gasping for breath during the songs, to where it was hard to even sing all the lyrics. I was joking, I kind of sounded like Vince Neil, who's notorious for singing every second or third word and letting the crowd fill in the rest. I didn't really think much of it. I had a couple of more shows — in Ireland, we did Dublin and Belfast, [which] were just insane — but same thing: kind of feeling a little bit short of breath.
"During this time frame, when I was feeling a little bit kind of short of breath, I was talking to my doctor at home in Tampa who said, 'This could be blood clots," he continued. "You could have some blood clots. Sounds like it might be that.' And she said, 'When you get back home to Tampa, we'll put you through a couple of CT scans and kind of see where you're at. But if you start feeling really short of breath, go to the hospital directly.' So fast forward to the next night, the show was in a place called Chester. So, once again, low roof, and it was so, so hot, 'cause the place was sold out. Every gig on this tour was sold out. It's the first time that we've ever had that; we had 12 shows and every one of them was sold out before we even left and got on the plane.'
"So, in Chester I was really feeling like, 'This is terrible. I can't breathe.' There's a door right by the stage that leads to the outside, and I said, 'I'm just gonna walk offstage. I can't take it.' But I finished the show and then my doctor said, 'You have to go to the hospital, like, now.' And we were in Bournemouth the next night and then headed to London for a press day. And I thought, 'Well, I'm not gonna go to the hospital in Bournemouth or Chester. Let me just wait till I get to London and we can figure out kind of where I'm at.' So we did the Chester gig, and then I had two more shows — Birmingham, where I felt okay, but I knew that we had London after Bournemouth, and that would be kind of the place where I'd get checked out and see kind of what's going on. Bournemouth was the same thing where I was getting a little bit hot, and we cut a couple of songs — a song called 'Burn Me Out' that's super hard to sing, and a couple of other ones. I think we ended up doing 12 or 13 songs, even though we usually do 15 or 16. And that was it. And I remember saying after the Bournemouth show, 'I can't do another show like this. We need to figure out what's going on.' So what I had our manager Mark Willis do was call a friend of ours called Luke Bell. Now Luke Bell worked for us as our tour manager for years, and he's now gone off and he works for the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS now. He connected us with a 'rock doc.' Now what is a rock doc? A rock doc, a rock doctor, is kind of a guy who travels to you when you don't have time to travel to them. So I went to London and we parked the bus outside the O2 arena, 'cause there's a parking place where buses can go, and took a taxi to the Hard Rock Hotel in London, which is where we were gonna be based out of to do our press day…
"So, when I got to the Hard Rock Hotel, I came in, got there early, took a shower, and then the doctor, he came and took some blood," Chris added. "And I told him what was going on. And he said, 'Okay, well, we're gonna book you for a heart scan later on and we'll take some blood and we'll see what's going on. So just kind of chill out and hang out.' And I was really having problems walking. I would be walking across the lobby at the Hard Rock Hotel and I felt like I was walking up a mountain — really, really bad. Huffing, puffing out of breath. Something was really wrong. So we canceled, basically, the press thing. We were supposed to have a listening party, and that got canceled due to COVID. And then I was supposed to go do kind of a sideline reporting thing at one of the football games, one of the soccer games in town… And I basically had to cancel; 'I can't do it.' 'Cause I had to stay [at the hotel] and also I had to figure out what my plan for the day was and what I was gonna have to be doing. So, anyways, about an hour later I got a call from the doctor, who said, 'You have blood clots. We can tell by the blood that we drew. You have to go directly to the hospital.' Now, [that was] pretty scary. Keep in my mind, I'm in London — I'm thousands of miles away from home in a foreign country, and now I have to go to a hospital. Well, the cool thing was that the rock doc worked for a medical concierge. And I never knew there was a such a thing. And what's a medical concierge? Well, this is a place where you pay, and the service they do is basically take care of everything — they book you the appointments; they get you the results; anything that needs to be done, they take care of for you. And thank goodness, because obviously this was in December when there was still all of this COVID going on, so all of the hospitals were fairly full. And the last thing you wanna do is just go to a hospital and sit in the hallway. So they were able to book me in a private hospital and get in quicker, and away you go. And this was actually December 9th; it was the day after my dad's birthday. So I go to the hospital; they pick me up… I get to the hospital and I can barely walk. I mean, walking across the lobby to get to the car to go to the hospital was a real task; it was terrifying. Three steps and I was just huffing and puffing and the heart was pounding. And you know something is really, really wrong here. Then the walk from that car to the hospital — same thing. It might as well have been a thousand miles if it was a hundred feet, if it was even that — 50 feet. So I walk inside and I'm trying to be cool; I know kind of what's going on here. But I'm a little bit scared, obviously, like anybody would be, especially when you have to go into a hospital. But I'm thinking, 'Who knows what it is?' You always think, 'They'll just give me a shot and I'll move on my way.' Well, that's not necessarily the case. I go inside. I check in… The doctor comes in and meets me… And keep in mind, prior to that, I went and saw him early in the morning. I had an appointment with the cardiologist, actually, at 6 p.m. And I met with him about 10 a.m. in the morning or so — 11 a.m. in the morning. And they were gonna give me an EKG and possibly an echo ultrasound of the heart. And then he texted me and said that the blood showed high possibility of clots in the lungs. The cardiologists got the results. And I said, 'What does that mean now?' 'We'll do a CT of the lungs first. Then we'll know for sure. And then it's tablets if it's in the blood.' So I was thinking once again, 'Just give me some pills and I'm on my way.' So I went to the hospital and I gave my insurance. And I go, I get checked in and they go and take me for the CT scan. And after the CT scan happens, then they tell me very soon after, 'Yes, you've had a pulmonary embolism.' What does that mean? It means that your lungs are filled with blood clots and you are now staying in the hospital. And they went and did an ultrasound and found that there was evidence of a clot that had been in my throat. Now, if a clot gets in your throat, that's getting into stroke territory. And the reason why these are so dangerous is if the blood clot breaks free and gets into your lungs, you could have some serious issues; if it breaks free and gets into your heart, you can have some serious issues; if it breaks free and gets into your brain, you can have some serious issues… So this is some serious, serious shit here. And I go into the hospital and I have my own room and all that sort of thing, and you then check in, and here you go. And it was nice — the people were nice — but once again, I am in a foreign country in this hospital room. And when they wanted me to go down to get the CT scan and the ultrasound, they wanted to put me in a wheelchair and you have to put the hospital gown on. And I was, like, 'Absolutely not. I am walking down to get this done.' Even though it was hard for me to walk, I did not wanna get in that wheelchair, and I did not wanna put on that gown. I put on shorts and a muscle shirt and I said, 'This is fine. I'll do this.' And they're, like, 'Sir, you have to put on your gown.' I said, 'No. I don't.' And they just kind of thankfully left me. 'Cause to me, if I put the gown on, that's more of a permanent stay. For me, to get into the wheelchair and get pushed down to the CT scan and the ultrasound, that's another step to being there longer. So I am not going to do that. I am going to essentially do this my way."
Jericho, a former WWE world wrestling champion who currently competes for All Elite Wrestling, was unable to sing at FOZZY's London concert on December 12, 2021 at the O2 Academy Islington. Instead, FOZZY held what was being billed as the "Ultimate Fozzy Fan Fest" that started with a world-exclusive premiere listening party of FOZZY's latest album, "Boombox", four months before the LP's official release. Then Jericho hosted a question-and-answer session with questions submitted by fans before the event concluded with FOZZY playing two of its biggest songs, "Enemy" and "Judas", live, with special guest vocalists — the fans themselves.
Prior to the London gig, FOZZY canceled two shows on its U.K. tour after Jericho was hospitalized.
FOZZY had already played nine shows as part of a 12-date "Save The World" tour of the U.K. before being forced to scrap a concert in Swansea and a show in Nottingham.
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