Ex-IRON MAIDEN Singer PAUL DI'ANNO To Be Fitted For Custom Leg Brace In Preparation For Surgery

March 19, 2022

Former IRON MAIDEN frontman Paul Di'Anno, who has been receiving lymphatic drainage treatments in Zagreb, Croatia in preparation for his upcoming knee surgery, will be fitted for a custom leg brace this coming week.

Stjepan Juras, a MAIDEN fan and author of many MAIDEN-related books, who is taking care of Paul during his stay in Croatia, has provided the following update to BLABBERMOUTH.NET regarding Paul's condition: "Paul was originally supposed to wear a carbon orthosis that would be thin and firm and over which he could wear his sneakers. However, his condition did not allow that type of orthosis and doctors suggested an orthosis with an already fitted shoe (which would mean he would have to walk for several months with two different shoes and that didn’t seem like the best option to him). Another option was temporary leg stiffness surgery and the installation of external fixators, after which Paul, awaiting major artificial knee implant surgery, could walk. Admittedly, a little stiffer, but he would walk. Paul agreed to this. However, after an ultra-scan and additional examination of the body the doctors concluded that his circulation in his leg was not yet good enough for the operation to be performed safely."

Stjepan continued: "Paul will probably go to several barochamber treatments to improve circulation, but orthopedists have been looking for the best temporary solution and finally they found a type of orthosis that would suit Paul perfectly and that he could walk with. On Monday, Paul goes on to take foot measurements to make him a custom orthosis. When the orthosis arrives, Paul will spend some time in Croatia learning to walk again, and doctors predict that he will be able to get to his first concert after seven years (May 21, 2022). After that, Paul will have to walk and exercise intensively for several months in order for his circulation to fully recover and when that happens, he will be ready for the final surgery."

Photos showing Di'Anno's progress over the course of the three months that he has spent receiving treatment in Croatia can be seen below.

Di'Anno recorded two classic albums with IRON MAIDEN — a self-titled effort in 1980 and "Killers" in 1981 — before being fired and replaced by Bruce Dickinson. He went on to front a number of other bands, including KILLERS and BATTLEZONE, and released several solo records.

In January 2021, Kastro Pergjoni, operations director of the Cart & Horses pub in Stratford, London, England where IRON MAIDEN made its live debut in 1976, launched a crowdfunding campaign on JustGiving for Di'Anno to be treated privately. More than £13,000 was raised — roughly the cost for surgery on one of Paul's knees. A second crowdfunding campaign was launched last summer and has raised more than £13,000 of a £26,000 target.

In February, Di'Anno told the "Još Jedan" podcast that his health was "better" than it was just a couple of months earlier but noted that he still "a lot of work to do — a lot of physio and stuff like that."

Paul went on to blast the U.K.'s free-at-the-point-of-use National Health Service (NHS),saying: "Fucking NHS sucks. I was a defender of them big time. But the nurses are awesome and all the workers. It's the fucking bureaucracy bullshit — the management and the people who run the NHS are just total assholes. But the poor heroes — the nurses and the staff — they're great, but their hands are tied. So they didn't know what to do. They just dumped me."

Di'Anno, who will turn 64 in May, outlined some of the recent health issues he has battled that have kept him from performing for seven years.

"I caught sepsis [when an infection you already have triggers a chain reaction throughout your body] in 2015, and it almost killed me," he said. "And I spent eight months in a hospital in England. You've got a crucial 45 minutes to get as many antibiotics in you before you die, and they managed to do that, which was great. Then I spent eight months in a hospital, and then another three months in a care home. And while I was in there getting things done, on hospital visits, I caught MRSA [Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an infection caused by a type of staph bacteria that's become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections] there twice, in the hospital. So that was it. So it kept delaying things and delaying things… And then they took this knee out put this cement thing in. And it was only supposed to be in there for a year. And the first time they put that in, it broke, so they cut me open again and put another in. And that one is still in here. And while it's been in there this long, it's going toxic. So, what the fuck are they doing over there at the NHS?"

According to Paul, his doctors in Zagreb found evidence of surgical instruments mistakenly being left within his body, potentially opening the door for him to pursue compensation through a lawsuit of medical malpractice.

"When I arrived here [in Croatia] at the clinic and they were looking me over, they found a fucking staple in my leg which was in there from the operation from four years ago. What's going on?" he said.

"There's gonna be a lawsuit, by the way. [Laughs]"

Di'Anno reportedly underwent an operation in 2016 to remove a "rugby ball-sized abscess" on his lungs and required a knee-replacement operation on both knees after getting involved in several motorcycle accidents over the years. As a result, Di'Anno was forced to sit down while performing at his most recent shows.

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