New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert Recovers After Emergency Cancer Surgery: “If My Wife Hadn’t Found Me, I Would’ve Fallen Into a Coma or Died”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Guitarist Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory performs at The Regency Ballroom on November 15, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic)

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Videos by American Songwriter

For New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert, it’s been an eventful December. The month started out great, with the release of the beloved pop-punk band’s new Christmas album, December’s Here. But then, on December 5, a horrific event struck: Gilbert had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.

“My wife found me unresponsive in bed,” Gilbert wrote on Instagram. “I’d been waking up drenched in sweat the last few days and we thought I was sick. 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.”

After that, Gilbert finally awoke to find himself surrounded by a team of paramedics. “I was so confused,” he continued. “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.”

Once he got to the ER, a team of doctors got busy doing what they do best: saving lives. “An amazing endocrinologist visited me and asked a bunch of questions about my health,” Gilbert said. “It honestly felt like she was an angel from heaven. She told me based on all my symptoms that I have a very rare tumor called a Pheochromocytoma! It’s a tumor that grows on your adrenal gland and messes up all of your hormones. 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.”

A few days passed and, after some CT scans, MRIs and consultations, a surgery was scheduled for December 13. “The only cure for a pheochromocytoma is surgery, one of my worst fears,” Gilbert said. “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.”

Once the surgery was successfully complete, Gilbert began the process of healing and preparing for everything that’s next. “The night of the 15th I was moved from the ICU to the Cancer Center. There I recovered from surgery… Now we just needed the pathology report to make sure no cancer got in the lymph nodes.”

Writing on Instagram, Gilbert expressed his deep, deep gratitude for all those around him who helped save his life. “Looking back on the timing of all of this, the incredible people put in my life to save me, the hospital staff whom I have the highest respect for, the way they took care of me while caring for an entire intensive care unit… I just can’t believe the strength these nurses have,” he said, then adding: “My wife Lisa and my mom were the driving forces of my positivity.”

For now, Gilbert is back home and resting up, enjoying the time with his family and loved ones. “I’ll know about future treatments in a few weeks but for now I’m able to come home!!!” he wrote. “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!!”

Thousands responded to Gilbert’s post, sending well-wishes and messages of hope and strength. Check out the post HERE and listen to New Found Glory’s new Christmas album, December’s Here, below:

Photo by Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic

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