PRO-PAIN singer Gary Meskil has thanked fans for their support after he was violently robbed in Brussels, Belgium on July 3.
Meskil suffered extensive injuries when he was "struck on the head with an ice pick" before being set upon by a group on individuals. He was admitted to hospital and is currently recovering after the horror attack.
In a statement posted on PRO-PAIN's Facebook page, Meskil wrote: "First off, I'd like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your concerns, well wishes and generosity. It really means the world to me and my family. I also would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Dr. Olivier Sanese and his wonderful staff at C.H.U. St-Pierre Hospital for saving my life, and the Brussels Police Department for diligently tracking down suspects.
"To think that just a few days ago, I was basically left to die on the sidewalk and no one helped until paramedics came to the scene. After being pick-pocketed, I absorbed a blow to the head with an ice pick, and then was quickly attacked by several persons. I truly believe my NY Yankees hat was my saving grace. My nose was broken, my glasses were smashed into my eyes, and I sustained some fractures to my face and jaw. I lost a high percentage of blood from severe hemorrhaging, which required multiple transfusions. The uncontrolled bleeding is what nearly killed me, according to the medical staff. They initially intended to keep me in the hospital for an extra 12 days (for surgery and recovery), but I convinced them to discharge me because I didn't appear to suffer any neurological damage and surgery can be done much closer to home.
"Over the next couple of days, I hope to get a second opinion on my jaw. It doesn't close properly, and the fractures around my palate make it impossible to eat any solid food. The jaw injury could be the biggest hurdle to overcome when it comes to returning to the stage. I can deal with the pain in certain areas until I get home, but breaches to the jaw will make it extremely painful to scream sing. I now have to wait 5-10 days for my new passport to arrive, so we will make further decisions around that time frame regarding certain plans. Aside from all of that, I am recovering as quickly as I can, and I look positively toward the future.
"I would also like to say that the incident did not change my opinion of Brussels or its citizens in any way. It could have happened in many places, and I just feel like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Belgium will continue to be my home away from home.
"I enclosed a few pics so you can witness a bit of my recovery thus far. I hope to have another update for you shortly. Until then, thanks again for all the love you've given me. I am truly humbled and blessed by all of your support. I hope to be able to give it back onstage soon enough!
"Love and respect, Gary Meskil."
As a result of Meskil's injuries, PRO-PAIN was forced to cancel its concerts in Roeselare, Belgium (July 7) and Osnabrück, Germany (July 8).
Meskil's family has launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover the musician’s medical bills.
The fund is looking to raise a total of $20,000 and, at the time of writing, has reached more than $16,000.
PRO-PAIN was touring in support of its latest album, "Voice Of Rebellion", which was released in June 2015 through SPV/Steamhammer.