Fifteen minutes after Drake White took the stage last Friday for an outdoor concert series in Roanoke, Virginia, he started to stumble and his bandmate quickly caught him before he collapsed to the ground.
The incident shocked many fans but not White, who was finally ready to reveal a secret health battle he’s faced for months now: In January he was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), an abnormal tangle of arteries and veins in the brain that disrupts normal blood flow.
He told People, “It was basically stealing blood from my brain. The neurologist told me that I should be thankful it was caught in time, because it could have caused a stroke.”
Drake added, “I’m not telling this story for me. 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.”
White’s health ordeal began over the winter. He was at home in Nashville and developed a headache — one that wouldn’t go away. He explained, “That morning, I had worked out and went to a lunch meeting, and that’s when the headache started. By 2 p.m. I was in bed seeing spots in my left eye, and that’s when my left side started going numb. I tried to sleep it off but woke up with the same intense headache.”
Drake has toured with artists including Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, Eric Church and Kip Moore throughout the years.
While he isn’t sure what the future holds for him and his health, White says, “My attitude is better. From the moment I found out, I refused to see it as a problem. Rather, I chose to let it inspire me and help others. I have to think I’ve been going through all of this for a reason. Everyone is going through something. You have to treat every person like it could be their last day. Not to be all sunshine and rainbows, but all of this made me appreciate all that I have and all that is to come.”