Guitarist James McIlroy of British extreme metallers CRADLE OF FILTH, who was scheduled to undergo career-changing neck surgery this past weekend, has issued the following update:
“Right now I should have been coming to from surgery that would have fixed the pain in my back and arm that has plagued me for years. However, things did not go according to plan this morning and I am left sitting here, back at square one this evening.
“Last night I went into hospital, got admitted, got given a bed and had a few tests done, and one last MRI scan. Everything was set, and this morning, after having not slept all night (hospitals aren’t exactly fun to sleep in), I was going through the operation prep this morning, had my ECG, had psyched myself up and was all ready to go with 30 minutes to an hour until they were going to take me in when suddenly I found out that the disc-replacement surgery to them meant inserting a small cage in place of the damaged disc and then letting the bones fuse together. Now neck fusion is not what I had believed was going to happen for the past 9 months since the diagnosis, and from everything I have read about, it reduces neck mobility and ends up with the other discs getting worn resulting in needing more fusions.
“After speaking to the surgeon and head consultant for the first time (instead of a different junior doctor every time), he said he would not perform the disc replacement surgery as he did not think it was proven enough, and would not do it as he had been performing fusions for the past 20 years, which is at odds with the impression I had got that he was one of the people championing prosthetic disc replacement surgery.
“Today is the first time in the whole process I have heard the term fusion. In every single consultation I have had since being diagnosed and being told I needed surgery I have mentioned the replacement disc, and no one has corrected me, or even told me that that was not the case.
“As I don’t want decreased mobility and know that they do do the actual artificial disc replacement, I refused the surgery. As such, I could not sign the consent form to undego a surgery that I would have not said yes to due to the possible impact on degenerating the rest of the discs in my neck.
“Instead of waking up and being hopeful that for the first time in almost a decade I won’t have to constantly worry about being crippled by periods of pain, and knowing that the disc which is in such bad condition and is pressing on my nerve canal in my neck is finally fixed, I am now back at square one having to go through the whole process again, along with all the waiting.
“I have been blown away by the support from everywhere, it’s been mind blowing and humbling to know that there are so many people out there who have wished me well.
“I am not going to let this be the end, as I am going to keep fighting to get the surgery I need and I feel is best for me. However, at the moment I feel robbed of a better life and resigned to still having to deal with the pain I have been dealing with on a daily basis, and that it will be with me for longer.
“Thanks to everyone for their support and wishes, this isn’t over yet, not if I have anything to do with it!”
McIlroy joined CRADLE OF FILTH in 2003 and made his recording debut with the band on the 2004 album “Nymphetamine”. The guitarist exited the group in 2005 but rejoined CRADLE OF FILTH in 2009.
McIlroy and fellow CRADLE OF FILTH guitarist Paul Allender both sat out the band’s European tour with BEHEMOTH due to “hugely important family matters” and “serious neck surgery,” respectively. Filling in for them were Ashok of Czech groups ROOT and INNER FEAR and Richard Shaw of English acts EMPEROR CHUNG and NG26.
CRADLE OF FILTH‘s tenth studio album, “The Manticore And Other Horrors”, sold 4,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 96 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band’s previous full-length effort, “Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa”, opened with 5,800 units in November 2010 to land at No. 99.