Mike IX Williams of New Orleans sludge titans Eyehategod has undergone a successful liver transplant following years of health issues. As Williams' wife Michelle Mahler-Williams posted on her husband's YouCaring page, doctors found a match for Mike's failing liver the morning of December 14, with the operation results coming in today. A Facebook update from Mahler-Williams earlier this morning read, "Surgeon just came out to talk to me—it's over! Everything went well. New liver is functioning and making bile. They're taking him to ICU now and I can see him in about an hour."
It's been a long, hard road for Williams, whose health issues first became especially apparent earlier this year when Eyehategod cancelled a string of shows, and then invited Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe to fill in for Williams on a recent North American tour with Discharge and Toxic Holocaust. In November 2016, a YouCaring campaign set up by his wife went into more detail about Williams' condition, and revealed that he was in the hospital struggling with failing kidneys and a failed liver that urgently required a transplant. Donations poured in, and the proceeds from the fundraiser—which is still active, if you'd like to help, and whose goal has since been increased—went towards paying off Williams' rapidly accruing medical bills, which soon included other complications and surgeries as he fought to survive.
"We can't do this on our own anymore," Mahler-Williams wrote. "The expenses are astronomical and overwhelming. Not only has our health insurance nearly tripled, but now we need to come up with our insurance deductible before the transplant occurs. We have a mountain of medical bills that need to be paid to ensure that his transplant isn't delayed. Since we live over an hour away from the hospital, we are required to rent an apartment nearby for 3-6 months after the transplant. His monthly prescriptions cost over $900. Mike hasn't been able to tour and I've taken a lot of time off in order to take care of him, so our income has plunged while our expenses have skyrocketed. Please help my lover get a liver! He's fought so hard to get this far."
Now, with news of this successful transplant and an upcoming metal star-studded IX LIVES IX LIVES For the Sick Benefit show to be held at Siberia and Poor Boys in New Orleans in his honor on February 3-5, the future's finally looking brighter for Mike IX Williams and everyone who loves him, and his music.
Follow Noisey on Twitter.