RATED X Guitarist KARL COCHRANE Suffers Stroke
April 4, 2014, 5 years ago
The Facebook page for guitarist Karl Cochran (RATED X, J OE LYNN TURNER, VOODOOLAND) has been updated with the following news about his health:"Hello Everyone. This is Chris, Karl's good friend and guitar roadie/tech for the past 15 years; you may also know me as the sweaty sound man at Far Cry shows. I want to start by saying how sorry I am for keeping you all in the dark for so long, with nothing but the rumor mill and second hand information to rely on. Please try to understand that the last 36 hours have been a nightmare I wouldn't wish on anyone. Trying to buffer the family from having to deal with this, keep his family, close friends and band mates in the loop, and feebly trying to maintain Karl's right to privacy during the first, nightmarish hours, when his very life was at stake, have been extremely difficult.
Here is what has happened. Yesterday morning, Karl collapsed at home, becoming unresponsive. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed as suffering from a stroke. That hospital emergency transported him to a bigger, better equipped hospital (keeping the name out for privacy sake). They performed more tests and scans, and determined that the left carotid artery, which feeds the entire left hemisphere of the brain, had become completely blocked.
He was taken to emergency surgery in an attempt to open up the blocked artery. The surgeons were amazing, and tried for several hours, but all attempts to open up the blocked artery failed. Therefore, Karl suffered a massive stroke to the left hemisphere of his brain. Believe me when I tell you, there was nothing that could have been done.
Why did this happen to a perfectly healthy guy? Apparently, what happened at some point in the recent past, is that the carotid artery became dissected from some kind of trauma/injury to the neck, that Karl may not have even noticed. That in turn caused a massive blood clot to form, which slammed shut the blood flow to the brain all at once. As tragic, unfair and unreal as it may seem, this was a horrible accident, that could have happened to anybody, including, tragically, Karl.
So,where does Karl's status stand now? This is a LARGE question mark right now. I don't want to get into specifics of his status out of respect for his privacy, and quite frankly, the huge unknowns in it. The next several days are key, and he currently is still in critical condition. His life is still hanging in the balance. I don't say that to scare you all. I say that to prepare for that as a possibility. The fact that he has survived 36 hours is a huge plus. If he makes it past the next 10 days, the long, laborious process of rehabilitation will begin. Again, there are a gigantic number of unknowns in what the next days will hold. It all depends on how much damage to the language, reasoning and understanding centers of the brain (where the stroke was centered) have been affected. The ability for him to move the right side of his body will be affected for sure; to what degree, no one can say right now.
As some of you have noticed, I have locked down Karl's wall to not allow any posting of any kind. I thought long and hard about doing this, because I completely and totally understand everyone's need to send their respects, and get together as a group to help get through this. However, my need to keep people informed, and make it easy for them to merely click on his Facebook page and see his status right at the top, without having scroll through pages of other posts, forced me to take this action. Believe me, I have read every single post on here, with the giant outpouring of emotion, grief, positive thoughts, and well wishes. Karl's mother and I have been lifted by the unbelievable number of posts, e-mails, text messages, and phone calls. WHEN (not if) Karl gets better, I will make sure he looks at all this, to see the stadium sized number of friends he truly has.
If you want to private message this account, so that when Karl is able, he'll be able to read your messages, feel free. Please do not be offended if you do not get a response from me. When this first happened, I spent 10 straight hours on Karl's and my cell phones, keeping dozens of people in the loop. I quickly discovered the utter futility of that, and have unfortunately, been forced to rely on social media, and Karl's web site to keep people informed. Also, hearing several dozen people break down into tears at hearing this horrible news is more than I can bear.
Believe me when I tell you, this is the most difficult news I've ever had to deliver. I woke up this morning praying that this was all a dream, and broke down when I realized it wasn't.
Karl is the strongest person I've ever known, and to quote him "if you knock me down, you better make sure I stay down, because if you don't, I'll keep getting up." Nothing is set in stone yet. Please keep him in your prayers and thoughts. He can use every ounce of positive mojo you possess. I will attempt to post regular updates (here) on his condition as it changes."