Former VENOM and current VENOM INC. guitarist Jeff "Mantas" Dunn underwent a successful emergency open-heart surgery earlier in the month.
In a statement posted on the VENOM INC. Facebook page, the musician, who lives in Portugal, revealed that he felt an "unbearable" pain on April 30 while making a trip to a local pharmacy to collect a new inhaler for his wife.
"A day like any other, sun is shining and myself and Anita leave the house to drive to our next village," he wrote. "Anita needs a new inhaler so we call into the pharmacy to collect one. That is when everything changes. I start to experience what I can only describe as indigestion, but then the pain gets worse. I decide to go back to the car and wait, but by this time, the pain is unbearable. The staff of the pharmacy help me out of the car and take me back inside. An ambulance is called. On its arrival, I am taken into the ambulance to be monitored and assessed. The pain is not subsiding in any way, and so the the paramedics call for a doctor. When the doctor arrives with a nurse, I am immediately hooked up to an ECG and given the news that it appears that two valves in my heart are blocked.
"What happened next ranks easily as the most terrifying experience of my life. I can remember calling Anita's name and then hearing my own voice saying, 'Fucking fight! Dont you dare give up! FIGHT IT!' And then, nothing.
"I have been told that the paramedics and doctor fought for just over five minutes to bring me back... Essentially, I had died in the ambulance.
When I was stabilized enough to be moved, I was transfered to Leiria coronary care unit, where they attempted to introduce a stent to unblock the arteries. However, this was unsuccessful, and so the next step was to be a double bypass.
"After a couple of days under observation and all kinds of medication to keep everything on an even keel. I was moved to Abrantes cardiothoracic unit to await transfer to Lisbon for a double heart bypass.
"I am now home resting and recuperating, taking walks and slowly building my strength up.
"From this day on, going through airport security will be interesting as my breast bone is clamped together with surgical steel.
"There have been things which have happened during these last few weeks which I have found very hard to come to terms with, but it's getting better.
"I simply do not know where or how to begin to thank every single doctor, nurse or health care worker who has played some part, no matter how small, in helping me recover from this. Tthere is still a way to go, but I remain positive.
"My thanks and enduring love goes to Anita, who has been with me every step of the way. My brother Tony Dolan, who upon hearing the news took the first available flight to be by my side. My neighbors and friends in our wonderful village who, despite language barriers, have shown so much concern and compassion.
"I will hopefully see you on a stage somewhere in the world soon, my friends. Maximum respect, Jeff."
VENOM INC. features original VENOM members Dunn and Anthony "Abaddon" Bray (drums) alongside ex-VENOM bassist/vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan.
The band's debut album, "Avé", was released last August via Nuclear Blast.
VENOM INC. is not to be confused with the Cronos-fronted version of VENOM, which is continuing to tour and make albums under the VENOM moniker. Joining Cronos in that group are Rage (a.k.a. Stuart Dixon) on guitar and Danté (a.k.a. Danny Needham) on drums.
Dunn, Bray and Dolan released three albums as VENOM between 1989 and 1992 — "Prime Evil" (1989), "Temples Of Ice" (1991) and "The Waste Lands" (1992).
The classic lineup of VENOM — Lant, Dunn and Bray — is often credited with kickstarting the whole black metal movement, but is more accurately seen an early example of extreme metal.
VENOM's second album, 1982's "Black Metal", was a major influence on on the early Norwegian black metal scene.