Audience members at Elmwood Park on Friday night for the Budweiser Summer Series opener saw opening act Drake White nearly hit the stage floor during his set. A band member caught him on his way down, and he was led offstage and into an ambulance that took him to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
In a People magazine exclusive that went live today, White said that he was diagnosed in January with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), an abnormal tangle of arteries and veins in the brain that disrupts normal blood flow.
White had already talked with People about it in July, the magazine reported.
“It was basically stealing blood from my brain,” he told the magazine, weeks before he played Elmwood. “The neurologist told me that I should be thankful it was caught in time, because it could have caused a stroke.”
He has had a series of embolization procedures to cut off blood flow to the affected vessels, the most recent one coming four days before he opened for McCreery. It was unclear if what happened at Elmwood was related to that procedure or to his condition.
White waved to audience members gathered near an ambulance as EMTs wheeled him to it, on a gurney. He continued communicating with fans via social media after he was taken to the hospital.
On a related note, I thought this condition sounded familiar. The character Nate Fisher from HBO's "Six Feet Under" had it. Nate, however, is a fictional character. White is a real dude who with his band kicks some ass, so best to him on his continued recovery!
To read the People story online: https://people.com/country/drake-white-arteriovenous-malformation-diagnosis/