Drake White Says Goal of Getting Back Onstage After Brain AVM Diagnosis ‘Is Healing Me’
In August, after collapsing onstage at a show in Virginia, Drake White has been seeking treatment for an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in his brain, which has kept him offstage as doctors have worked to get rid of the blood flow-disrupting tangle of arteries and veins in the singer's brain. During a Tuesday (Dec. 10) appearance on The Doctors, White offered an update on his condition and his prognosis.
White's brain AVM was diagnosed in January; a lasting headache, spots in his left eye and numbness on the left side of his body sent the singer to the emergency room, which resulted in an angiogram and an MRI, and then the diagnosis. His doctors believe he's been living with the AVM since birth, but if the condition had gone undiscovered, it could have caused a stroke.
Following his diagnosis, White had been undergoing a series of embolization procedures, which cut off blood flow in the affected area. In August, White said the procedures had "knocked out 75 percent of the mass," and he hoped the condition would be completely gone by the end of 2019. However, he began experiencing terrible headaches and numbness again while on the road, and bleeding in his brain led to temporary paralysis on the left side of his body.
Now, White is in physical therapy three times each week. He tells People that he is also undergoing speech therapy. The singer is walking with the aid of a cane, and he's regained movement in his left hand and can play guitar again.
“I would say I’m at 75 percent in terms of my recovery,” White tells People, adding, "Cognitively everything looks good." His sixth -- and, hopefully, last -- embolization procedure took place on Tuesday (Dec. 10), but will be under doctors' careful watch for months to come.
While his health is his first priority, getting back out in front of his fans again soon is also at the top of White's mind. "I think about me back onstage -- those thoughts are what is healing me," he says. "[Music] kind of is a healing agent of its own."
The singer has been privately creating as he's undergone his treatments, too. "I just continued to push through and make sure I was writing as I was going through this process," White shares. "It made me feel good and made me feel like my purpose was still there."
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