Thursday, October 7, 2010

ELP’s Keith Emerson recovering from surgery

Emerson Lake And Palmer’s keyboard master Keith Emerson has opened up to fans via Facebook about some recent surgery he underwent.

Make that surgeries. Plural.

“This all started during a routine medical that incorporated an endoscopy, MRI, blood tests - all of which turned out OK,” writes Keith. “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!”

The colonoscopy surgery was complete, but left Emerson wondering about the outcome. “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.”

Emerson and his doctors faced a more immediate issue to deal with. “Meanwhile, as I lay hoping I might be recovering, I was bleeding heavily, internally,” Keith explains. "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,”
said Emerson. “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.”

Emerson is now recovering from his surgeries with a new appreciation for a simple procedure that doctors routinely perform. “This experience made me realize the importance of having a colon screening,” he continued, “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.”

Emerson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Knife Edge (1970)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Lucky Man (1970)