Earlier this month, Founding member and guitarist of New Found Glory, Chad Gilbert had a near-death experience, after he was found unresponsive in bed by his wife, Lisa Cimorelli.
Yesterday, Sunday (Dec. 19), he took to social media to share the timeline of his journey since being diagnosed with a malignant tumor.
“For the last 14 days I’ve been living in the hospital having cancer removed. Here’s the timeline of my unexpected journey,” Gilbert began on his Instagram post that included a brief slideshow of photos from his time in the hospital so far.
“On December 5th, my wife found me unresponsive in bed. I’d been waking up drenched in sweat the last few days, and we thought I was sick,” he recounted about the terrifying experience. “Not being able to wake me, she called 911 and performed CPR and mouth-to-mouth. Apparently I was doing something called ‘agonal breathing’ and was minutes from death.”
Gilbert continued, “I woke up with 7 paramedics surrounding my bed. I was so confused. My blood sugar somehow dropped to 20 and if my wife hadn’t found me, I would’ve fallen into a coma or died. The paramedics took me to the ER in an ambulance. They couldn’t figure out why my blood sugar kept dropping or why my blood pressure kept skyrocketing, even with blood pressure medication in my system. I was hooked up to two different drips I couldn’t be separated from.”
The guitarist then went on to share how he discovered what had caused him to become unresponsive. After a visit from an endocrinologist, who he dubbed an angel, a rare tumor known as a “Pheochromocytoma” was found in his adrenal gland.
“It was eating all my glucose, changing my hormones, and raising my blood pressure. I couldn’t survive without IVs until this tumor was removed,” he explained.
The next day, he learned that the malignant tumor had unfortunately spread from his adrenal gland to his liver.
“It was huge. Which made my Pheochromocytoma even more rare since they are usually benign,” Gilbert said.
“12/8, three days since my amazing wife saved me from dying in bed,” he continued in his social diary. “I was transported to a major hospital and moved into the ICU. I got an MRI which showed that the tumor was in fact one growth and had not spread to other parts of my body. Now that my miracle doctor, cancer doctor, and incredible surgeon had all the info they needed, they scheduled my surgery for Monday.”
Gilbert has since recovered from his successful surgery, which was the only cure for his large tumor, “the only cure for a pheochromocytoma is surgery, one of my worst fears. But if surgery went well, all the glucose consumption, high blood pressure, and any other hormonal changes would immediately go away.”
“When I got to pre-op, the surgeon drew the size of the tumor on a dry erase board to clarify how intense, large and dangerous my surgery was gonna be. But still reassured us he’s done many way more difficult. So grateful for him! The surgery was predicted to be 4 and a half hours but he finished it in two. The tumor wasn’t attached to anything tricky, so they basically cut it out and peeled it off. But man this scar is insanely big. I couldn’t grasp how large the tumor was until now,” Gilbert continued to share.
He added, “I was sedated and drugged up and don’t remember anything from surgery day. My surgeon came in the next morning and let us know he got it all out!! Now we just needed the pathology report to make sure no cancer got in the lymphnodes.”
After several weeks in the hospital, the New Found Glory guitarist was finally able to return home to be with his wife and daughter, Lily.
“The joy and excitement from all the nurses and doctors involved was super emotions,” he shared. “I didn’t have a lot of family and friends around since it all happened so fast. But the hospital staff became the extra support and family, giving me the cards and little gifts.”
“The night of the 15th I was moved from the ICU to the Cancer Center. There I recovered from surgery! I’ll know about future treatments in a few weeks but for now I’m able to come home!!!” Gilbert added. “It’s Sunday, December 19th. Yesterday was the first time I got to smell fresh air since December 5th. I’m home with my wife and baby and so thankful to be alive!!”
Future treatments have yet to be confirmed, but for now, Gilbert remains at home and continues to receive an outpouring of support and concern from fans and fellow artists, including his New Found Glory bandmates.
“Love you man!!!! Happy you’re home with Lisa and Lily,” his bandmate Ian Grushka commented on his Instagram post.