Death Angel’s Will Carroll Discusses Having COVID-19, Being in a Coma, and Suffering Heart Failure

  • Axl Rosenberg

The metal community has been fairly lucky in terms of the coronavirus thus far. Yes, everyone is losing money, and that’s terrible. But all of the various prominent metal musicians afflicted with COVID-19 have thus far recovered. I already have friends who have lost loved ones to the virus, and trust me: any day above ground is a good day.

Of course, we did come very close to losing someone: Death Angel drummer Will Carroll, who was in a coma for twelve days as a result of COVID-19.

Carroll has already discussed his ordeal somewhat, but he goes into much greater detail in a new interview with Decibel. And to call the drummer’s experience “harrowing” would be a massive understatement.

Carroll says he knew he had the virus while Death Angel were touring Europe with Testament and Exodus (Testament’s Chuck Billy and Steve DiGiorgio, Exodus’ Gary Holt, and several members of the bands’ touring crews have also been diagnosed with COVID-19). He was home from that trek for three days when things got really bad:

“My fiancée said I looked and sounded terrible. She said I was wheezing in my sleep and struggling to breathe. That’s the last thing I remember. I don’t remember the ambulance ride or getting to the hospital. The next thing I remember is waking up after a 12-day coma with tubes stuck in me and machines all around. I didn’t even know I was in San Francisco.”

Carroll goes on to say that “I could barely breathe and my lungs were collapsing,” before revealing that he “hated every second” of being in a coma… because he suffered some very intense dreams and visions while in that state:

“I don’t believe in Bigfoot and I’m not an ambulance chaser. I’m not a super-spiritual guy. I hardly believe in any of that stuff but I did have some out of body experiences. I went to hell and Satan was a woman and I was being punished for sloth. I was this giant obese Jabba The Hut type creature. I was vomiting blood and kept on vomiting blood until I had a heart attack which is kind of weird because I had heart failure during my coma. I remember rising up from Hell and floating up above my body and once I got to heaven it was horrifying there, too. It was like a Roman orgy and the angels were scarier than the demons. I shot back down to earth and I was with some friends in a nightclub and I didn’t know why I was there. That’s the last thing I remember until I woke up. My first words to the nurse were: ‘Am I still in hell?’ She just ignored it. As I said, I never believed in anything like that but I did see myself from above.” 

Carroll’s struggle didn’t end when he woke up, though. “They asked me to write my name and I couldn’t even write a W because of muscle atrophy,” he says, before revealing that he’s currently in “physical therapy to walk again” (he’s hoping to be able to resume playing drums by June).

The drummer is now on heart medication as a result of the heart failure he suffered while in the coma, and doctors believe he has sleep apnea, which likely contributed to the virus having such a drastic effect on him. So, understandably, Carroll asserts that the experience has left him determined to take better care of himself moving forward:

“My days of heavy drinking are over. I might have an occasional glass of wine or Irish cider but as far as doing ten shots a night those days are over. Smoking, including smoking weed, is over too. I’ll still take some edibles but smoking is over. I’m eating healthier and I’ve lost a good amount of weight. That’s one good thing about being in a coma – you will lose weight! [laughs]. I started partying when I was 16 years old so it’s been a 36-year ride of partying almost every day. It was fun but I already don’t miss it. I don’t miss drinking. I miss pizza but I don’t miss drinking or smoking and won’t be going back to that lifestyle.”

Finally, Carroll warns fans to learn from his experience and take COVID-19, and the social distancing requirements that have been implemented to stop the spread of the virus, seriously. After calling people who aren’t treating the coronavirus with the gravity it deserves “fools,” the drummer says:

“This is not the common flu – that is ridiculous. You really need to stay indoors and follow the rules. It’s no fun to be cooped up and I’m no fan of Big Brother but we have to prevent this from spreading. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy and people need to take it seriously.”

You can read the entire interview here. I would also recommend sharing it with anyone you know who isn’t participating in social distancing — it should put the right amount of fear into them.

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