Keith Emerson Recovering From Surgery

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.

Stay well.

Keith Emerson?

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.

30 thoughts on “Keith Emerson Recovering From Surgery

  1. Keith,
    Glad to learn you are feeling better.You've had quite a rough go. I pray God will continue to
    heal you. You are in my prayers!
    And thank you for all the joy your great talent and music brings me. God bless you; an old
    fan.
    Randy Porshia(musician)

  2. Keith, I know what you are going through and more. I now live a life of gratitude. You will too, if you make the best of a bad situation. Stay strong and never give up. You are an original. When I was hospitalized they had to cut my throat(trach) me so I would live to get to the hospital. Did I mention I am a singer. It's hard work but I never saw anyone work so hard at the keyboard as you have and will again. This will be cake!! StephenJ. Molchany

  3. God bless you, man and the best of luck, hey we need you man,. and there are a hell of a bunch of us fans out there who really really love you so get well soon… I've been a fan for forty years and still am and always will be and I am very sad to hear about your health problems, but I'm sure you'll get back to a better shape soon… you've shown to us that you're a fighter and a winner, you'll make it, man…

  4. God bless you, man and the best of luck, hey we need you man,. and there are a hell of a bunch of us fans out there who really really love you so get well soon… I've been a fan for forty years and still am and always will be and I am very sad to hear about your health problems, but I'm sure you'll get back to a better shape soon… you've shown to us that you're a fighter and a winner, you'll make it, man…

  5. God bless you, man and the best of luck, hey we need you man,. and there are a hell of a bunch of us fans out there who really really love you so get well soon… I've been a fan for forty years and still am and always will be and I am very sad to hear about your health problems, but I'm sure you'll get back to a better shape soon… you've shown to us that you're a fighter and a winner, you'll make it, man…

  6. God bless you, man and the best of luck, hey we need you man,. and there are a hell of a bunch of us fans out there who really really love you so get well soon… I've been a fan for forty years and still am and always will be and I am very sad to hear about your health problems, but I'm sure you'll get back to a better shape soon… you've shown to us that you're a fighter and a winner, you'll make it, man…

  7. God bless you, man and the best of luck, hey we need you man,. and there are a hell of a bunch of us fans out there who really really love you so get well soon… I've been a fan for forty years and still am and always will be and I am very sad to hear about your health problems, but I'm sure you'll get back to a better shape soon… you've shown to us that you're a fighter and a winner, you'll make it, man…

  8. God bless you, man and the best of luck, hey we need you man,. and there are a hell of a bunch of us fans out there who really really love you so get well soon… I've been a fan for forty years and still am and always will be and I am very sad to hear about your health problems, but I'm sure you'll get back to a better shape soon… you've shown to us that you're a fighter and a winner, you'll make it, man…

  9. Keith, you are a Good Influence in my Life through your Music. It´s pure Good Magic.
    I'm Shure you'll recover Fully!!!!! I've been a Fan for 36 years since I was 11 years old in 1974 the year that Brain Salad Surgery was released!!!!
    It was amazing to see you playing at the Royal Festival Hall in 2002. GOD Bless You !!!!!
    Greetings from Spain!!!!!

    Henrique

  10. Keith, you are a Good Influence in my Life through your Music. It´s pure Good Magic.
    I'm Shure you'll recover Fully!!!!! I've been a Fan for 36 years since I was 11 years old in 1974 the year that Brain Salad Surgery was released!!!!
    It was amazing to see you playing at the Royal Festival Hall in 2002. GOD Bless You !!!!!
    Greetings from Spain!!!!!

    Henrique

  11. Keith, you are a Good Influence in my Life through your Music. It´s pure Good Magic.
    I'm Shure you'll recover Fully!!!!! I've been a Fan for 36 years since I was 11 years old in 1974 the year that Brain Salad Surgery was released!!!!
    It was amazing to see you playing at the Royal Festival Hall in 2002. GOD Bless You !!!!!
    Greetings from Spain!!!!!

    Henrique

  12. Keith, you are a Good Influence in my Life through your Music. It´s pure Good Magic.
    I'm Shure you'll recover Fully!!!!! I've been a Fan for 36 years since I was 11 years old in 1974 the year that Brain Salad Surgery was released!!!!
    It was amazing to see you playing at the Royal Festival Hall in 2002. GOD Bless You !!!!!
    Greetings from Spain!!!!!

    Henrique

  13. Keith, you are a Good Influence in my Life through your Music. It´s pure Good Magic.
    I'm Shure you'll recover Fully!!!!! I've been a Fan for 36 years since I was 11 years old in 1974 the year that Brain Salad Surgery was released!!!!
    It was amazing to see you playing at the Royal Festival Hall in 2002. GOD Bless You !!!!!
    Greetings from Spain!!!!!

    Henrique

  14. Keith, you are a Good Influence in my Life through your Music. It´s pure Good Magic.
    I'm Shure you'll recover Fully!!!!! I've been a Fan for 36 years since I was 11 years old in 1974 the year that Brain Salad Surgery was released!!!!
    It was amazing to see you playing at the Royal Festival Hall in 2002. GOD Bless You !!!!!
    Greetings from Spain!!!!!

    Henrique

  15. My wife had an identical operation 6 years ago..and with complications…adhesions.

    She was really ill but can now eat and do anything…except play keyboards !!

    Steve

  16. You got me interested in clasical & all types of music. I bought a box organ rmi piano & mini moot model d. I am now a pharmacist and have not played for along time. Them I was given a m-100. O hope to get it back, although I was only accord plunker with a limited lead skills. I even studied music in college (nit a good play by ear. I deeply pray you recover. I understand.

  17. GOOD TO HEAR THINGS ON THE MEND.
    I HAVE BEEN A FAN OF ELP FROM THE BEGINNING AND STILL LOVE TO PLAY THE MUSIC ESPECIALLY WHEN MOTORING. I AM WATCHING THE BRITS NOW ( 15/2/11 ) AND WOULD LOVE TO SEE ELP WALK ON THAT STAGE. YOU HAVE GIVEN PLEASURE TO MANY AND I WISH YOU THE BEST FOR THE FUTURE.

    RAZZLE CAREY – BEXHILL

  18. Hey Keith..I hope you are feeling better! I can relate (almost) to your situation as I too have had my sigmoid colon removed due to diviticulitis. The surgery and the hospital recovery are indeed very unpleasant. The wearing of a urinary catheter during and after surgery is hell..along with the wearing of a colostomy bag while recovering is terrible.
    Once all is done and you have healed ..you will regain your strenth and feel healthy again. Just keep up a good fiber diet …! We have had a 2nd chance at life!! Cheers…..Dave

  19. KEITH, YOU WILL GET BETTER!
    i DON`T KNOW IF YOU REMEMBER ME BUT WE BOTH LIVED CLOSE TOGETHER ON THE MAYBRIDGE ESTATE AND ATTENDED WEST TARRING TOGETHER.I FIRST SAW YOU WITH THE NICE AT LIVERPOOL UNI. AROUND 1970 AND I HAVE BEEN A GREAT FAN EVER SINCE.
    ALL THE VERY MATE FROM PETE. STAFFORD.

  20. Hi Keith, Hope you get well soon mate,been a fan since a kid allways loved your music and still play it today. (Benny the bouncer was the best!) Only just got on line and found out about your op, just remember to never give up, you still have many gratefull fans out there who you have given enormous pleasure to over the years and i am sure they all wish you well( I had a whipples operation four years back and a kidney transplant six months after, just dont ever give up matey. GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO THOSE WHO DESERVE IT.
    God bless you and thanks for all the brilliant music you filled my head with.

  21. Hi keith, Sorry to learn that have been ill, but very happy that you are on the mend. I have long been a fan of ELP, especially since you got back together in 1992. I play the keyboards myself at amateur level, but I have only a fraction of your talent which I suppose is better than none. You are an inspiration to all keyboard players, and I try myself to emulate you but without much success. Anyway I hope to listen to your music for many years to come so get well soon mate. S J Barker.

  22. Hi Keith,
    Sorry to hear about health prob.
    Had ELP 1970 remastered cd on in the car today……………just incredible after all this time. Will never cease to amaze.
    LH

  23. I hope you are well. The love of my life, Paul, and I fell in love with you playing wild, passionate and sublime in the background. We love you Keith and hope we have another chance to share your company. If you are in the US again near us in The DC area. Much love to you & your dear loved ones!

  24. all the very best Keith have enjoyed your music since early 70s you are the No1keyboard man of all time in my book [ no talents just a big fan of yours cheers]

  25. I hope you will get you strength back soon. You are an extremley (!!!!) original
    and inteligent keyboardist and komposer. It is a dream I have to present
    a different keyboard I have konstrukt with many different qualitys for you!
    I wish the best for you in the future. (English is not my Language)
    Johan from Sweden

  26. Dear Keith,
    I read your comments regarding the very difficult time you spent in hospital and the very trying times you experienced.I have recently recovered from a brain surgery and believe I can identify with the mental challenges you are currently confronted with.I would like to wish you everything of the best and that full recovery is only around the corner.
    Now,let me tell you I am from South Africa.I am 59 years old and have been ELP’s biggest fan in South Africa since the release of their first album.Even today I marvel at the music ELP produced and I am still an ardent die-hard fan.
    I would like to ask you to consider spending time recuperating in my magnificent city Cape Town.Allow me the honour of escorting you and showing our beautiful city.If you have not been to my country,I urge you do so and recover to full health in the most beautiful city in the world.Let me show you the finest wine farms,beaches,mountains and the most wonderful people on earth!!!
    For now,take great care of yourself.I wish you everything of the best and,at best,a reply would be absolutely wonderful.God bless.
    With my sincerest regards,
    Arnold.

Leave a Reply