Ex-Iron Maiden Singer Blaze Bayley Reflects on Heart Attack: “I Was 10 Minutes from Death”


Former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley had a very close brush with death after suffering a heart attack in March. Talking to The Metal Voice (transcribed by Blabbermouth), Bayley underscored exactly how lucky he was regarding the circumstances around his heart attack. Namely, that he was home, in a city with nearby hospitals, and that the paramedics were able to get to him immediately.

“There’s so many lucky things about a terrible incident in my life. I’m at home on Saturday. On the Friday, I’ve just signed off on what I think is probably the final mastered mix of a new album. That’s on a Friday. Here I am on a Saturday. On the Monday, I’m scheduled to go on tour in Europe to continue with ‘The Man Who Would Not Die’ tour. And there I am, and I’ve got chest pains, and I think, ‘Oh, is this indigestion?’ I’m having a heart attack. I live two minutes from the ambulance station. I’m on the phone, and apparently the paramedics, they were going on their break towards the ambulance station and they said, ‘Oh, we heard that call. It’s on our way. We’ll take that call.’ Two minutes, they’re in my house. I’ve got wires on my chest. ‘You’re having a heart attack.’ I live in the city, but I’m between four hospitals. In 15 minutes I’m having treatment, and they’re injecting me with dye to see what the problems are and everything. So that’s it. I’m safe. I’m in hospital 15 minutes later.”

“They said, the paramedics, if that had been 10 minutes [later], there’s no way you’d make it. So I was 10 minutes from death. I had a heart attack, not heart failure. They got to me in time. But if I’d have been somewhere else, if I’d have been in Eurotunnel, if I’d have been in a hotel room alone, or on the autobahn in Germany — anywhere, man… It’s just terrifying, really, to think about where I could be. And when they said, ‘Oh, you should be able to make it back,’ I said, ‘I’ve gotta get back to work. I can’t leave it like this.’ I’ve done an album called ‘War Within Me’, and I haven’t toured the whole thing. I’m thinking of my fans and everything. I thought, ‘I can’t leave it like this. I’ve still got more music to make. I’ve got things to say, and I don’t wanna feel like I’m letting my fans down either.’ So I was so focused.”

Despite having a heart attack that required a quadruple bypass surgery and various lifestyle changes, Bayley maintains a positive exterior about the whole experience, joking about how he’s even more metal than the average heart surgery patient.

“Basically, they cut you in half. They cut me in half, they do a load of plumbing and then they put you back together. And the guy said, ‘We wired you back together with surgical steel wire.’ He said, ‘We’ve doubled wired.’ I said, ‘So even more metal?’ Yeah, even more metal. So I’ve got more metal in me than a normal heart patient.”

Bayley is only 60 years old, so it’s great to hear that he has a positive outlook and will continue to be here for decades to come. You can watch the interview to hear more details about his symptoms and the preventative measures he’s learned about since.

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