If you haven’t already done this – take a minute to stop by Keith Emerson’s Facebook page and leave a “get well soon” message for him.
In the 70’s, Emerson pioneered the use of synthesizers in prog rock, and he’s been blowing people’s minds with his keyboard work ever since.
More recently, though, he’s been dealing with some unexpected health issues.
Here’s what Emerson has said about them:
I would like to thank all those well-wishers that wrote to me during my recent hospitalisation. I would also like to thank the doctors, surgeons and nurses of The London Clinic as well as those individuals who donate blood.
At this time I would say a prayer for all those less fortunate than myself in sickness.
To recap, this all started during a routine medical that incorporated an endoscopy, MRI, blood tests all of which turned out OK. Finally my doctor looked up my past medical records. “ I see it’s been over five years since your last colonoscopy. To be safe it is time for another.”
That test caused concern with the reveal of a dangerous polyp situated in my large colon. It was decided that I should have it removed for analysis immediately. This involved laparoscopic surgery and a two-inch incision in my stomach to remove about two inches of the colon it was attached to.
However, surgery showed up more than anyone had bargained for. A large section of my lower colon was afflicted with a diverticular disease with significant number of diverticula and it all had to come out – nearly a foot and a half of it!
When I came round from the anesthetic I discovered that I had been cut from the lower end of my rib cage to the pubic region, and what they had taken out was now in the laboratory for analysis. It would be a week before I knew the results. Meanwhile, as I lay hoping I might be recovering, I was bleeding heavily, internally. The initial response was to wait and see if the two parts of the healthy colon had bonded successfully and the bleeding would stop. It didn’t. Two blood transfusions later at 11PM, I was told I had no option other than to be immediately rushed back to the operating theater. I really thought that was it. I had no time to tell friends or family. The rest is a bit of a blur except I do remember a surgeon saying to me sometime the next day that he had successfully clipped the two parts of the colon together and halted the spurting blood vessel. Of course I remained doubtful and almost in a panic if I felt I was about to sneeze, as I still am. A few days later the results from the lab had come in. Thankfully, the polyp was not malignant.
This experience made me realise the importance of having a colon screening, and of donating blood. After two weeks in the hospital, I am now recuperating in Sussex having been told by doctors and surgeons that it will be some time before I fully get my strength back.
I am most thankful to Mari for her love and attention, my family and to Greg Lake for his compassion and support.
It takes balls to tell the world about your health troubles – and it’s obvious that Emerson’s doing it because he wants his fans to be thinking about their health, too, getting recommended checkups and donating blood.
You can leave a message for Emerson and read what others have had to say at the Keith Emerson Facebook page.