Drake White Reveals He Has AVM, a Debilitating Brain Condition, After Nearly Collapsing Onstage

Drake White took the stage Friday to an outdoor concert series in Roanoke, Virginia, and instantly began delivering the sort of series the soulful powerhouse has been famous for. However 15 moments to his operation, the Alabama native started to creep, his bandmate immediately catching him until he dropped to the floor. Fans seeing the incident became anxious as family and friends closest to White began to pray. Can there be something wrong with Drake White?

Though the episode shocked many, it arrived only as the”Livin’ the Dream” singer, 35, was finally prepared to show a key wellness conflict he has confronted for weeks today: In January he had been diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), an abnormal tangle of veins and arteries in the brain that disrupts normal blood circulation.

“It was essentially stealing blood out of my mind,” White told PEOPLE in a private interview in July, only weeks prior to his onstage scare. “The neurologist explained I must be glad that it had been captured in time, since it might have triggered a stroke”

Ever since that time, he has been undergoing a set of embolization processes to reduce blood circulation into the vessels — the past only four days until he came near falling. Even though it’s still uncertain when his near-fall was directly associated with this process or his illness, the artist had determined that it was time to split the particulars of the gruesome medical travel he has been around since the start of the year.

“I am not telling this story for me personally,” White told PEOPLE last month. “Someone should listen to it and God wants me to talk about it. It helps individuals believe in miracles, and that I will think energy. The world requires that sort of energy at this time.”

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White’s wellbeing ordeal started over winter. He had been home in Nashville and acquired a hassle — one which would not go away.

“That morning, I’d worked out and moved into a dinner meeting, and that is when the headache began,” White recalled. “By two p.m. I had been in bed viewing places in my eye, and that is if my left side began going numb. I attempted to sleep it off but awakened with the exact same intense annoyance.”

Alarmed, the”Makin’ Me Look Great Again” singer led to the emergency room along with his wife of five decades, Alex.

“The real nightmare is getting something wrong with you personally rather than understanding exactly what it is,” admitted White, who — together with his group The Fire — has toured with artists such as Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, Eric Church and Kip Moore during recent years. “Nobody could tell me what was wrong.”

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After getting an”excruciating” MRI in addition to an angiogram, White and his wife anxiously awaited the official identification. “I certainly had some’Oh –‘ minutes across both sides of my bed in the morning,” White said of those days prior to learning of his illness, which doctors think he has probably had since birth.

Ultimately, the evaluation results have been in and replies came — it had been a brain arteriovenous malformation.

“The next thing I know, there’s a man walking with the phrase’neurologist’ on his nameplate. He explained,’You have a mass at the back of your own head. It is treatable, but it is going to take a little while.’ It was at the instant Alex and I explained to each other that whatever it is, we’d fight it. Our religion went into overdrive.”

A streak of embolization procedures were scheduled. White described the significant operations as neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Mericle in Centennial Hospital in Nashville”running a catheter through my arteries all of the way up into the back of my mind to paste the AVM shut”

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Currently, eight weeks and four embolizations afterwards — the latest happening on Aug. 12, four times ahead of his near-collapse — White told PEOPLE that Dr. Mericle is convinced that they have”pumped out 75percent of their mass.”

“He’s to distance them out because of my mind used to the quantity of blood circulation for 35 years,” White explained, adding he expected to be AVM-free at the conclusion of 2019. “If he’d embolized the entire mass in 1 operation, it could cause big problems with my freedom and perhaps a stroke”

While Obtaining the embolization procedure, White had kept his traveling schedule, frequently appearing onstage only days after a treatment. “There was a series in April I played with 48 hours following operation,” he explained. “And that has been really therapeutic to me. Emotionally it made me understand I could still do so. Perhaps I was not jumping around like I do, but I had been doing it”

But moving ahead the celebrity will be carrying it a little easier on himself. As he and Alex wait further evaluation results and information on his condition and outlook, they’ll be relying upon their own faith to see them through. “Drake and I’m thankful to God and he has done,” said Alex, 33, talking to PEOPLE from her husband’s bedside on Monday. “He’s worked wonders in the past 24 hours”

And while White joked about life following his surgeries are full –“I am determined that after it is done, I’ll have the ability to run faster and play guitar and get Alex pregnant instantly” — he confessed that the experience has left him a changed man. He finds himself full of deep gratitude in addition to a deepened faith — both of which he expects will be evident from his own life and his songs moving forward.

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“My mindset is better. From the minute I discovered, I refused to see it as an issue. Instead, I opted to allow it to inspire me and help other people. I need to think I have been going through all this because of this,” White stated. “Everybody is experiencing something. You need to take care of every individual like it may be their last moment. To not be all sunshine and rainbows, but most this made me love everything I have and all that’s to come”

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