Country music star Drake White revealed that he has a chronic brain condition after he collapsed onstage during a recent concert. White told People Magazine that he has an arteriovenous malformation, a clump of veins and arteries in the brain that undermines normal mental function. During the interview, the “Makin’ Me Look Good Again” singer said that he has been dealing with the illness since the beginning of the year, but he did not confirm that it caused the collapse.
“It was basically stealing blood from my brain,” White said. “The neurologist told me that I should be thankful it was caught in time, because it could have caused a stroke.”
White was on tour with Scott McCreery when he collapsed. As Entertainment Tonight reports, he later announced that he would be stepping away from music and performing.
“I’m not telling this story for me,” he added in the interview with People. “Someone needs to hear it and God wants me to share it. It will help people believe in miracles, and I will feel that energy. The world needs that kind of energy right now.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the symptoms of arteriovenous malformation include headaches, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, and impaired brain function. Researchers aren’t sure why it occurs, but there are hypotheses that genetic factors could be the root cause.
White told People that a headache was the first sign that there was a problem in his brain. Eventually, he experienced a numbing sensation on his left side and decided to go to the emergency room.
Fortunately, arteriovenous malformations are treatable. White says has been going through embolization procedures. This is a type of surgery which forms an artificial blood clot to stop blood from reaching the mass, Mayo Clinic notes.
The country music singer has said that those treatments have debilitated the majority of the malformation. He went on to add that performing music before his collapse this month had been therapeutic for him as he deals with the condition.
“Maybe I wasn’t jumping around like I usually do, but I was doing it,” he said of a concert that he did about two days after an embolization procedure. White also said that he is focused on being positive, despite his health challenges.
Over on Instagram, he thanked his fans for the support that he’s received in the aftermath of his announcement. In the comments, he received encouragement from fans and musical colleagues alike but didn’t reveal when he’ll be back to performing regularly again.