DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll recently returned home after spending almost two weeks on a ventilator in an intensive care unit at a Northern California hospital. The musician — who tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus — first got sick when he and the rest of DEATH ANGEL spent more than a month on the road in Europe with TESTAMENT and EXODUS as part of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour.
Carroll told San Francisco's KRON-TV that he "knew" he had been infected with the coronavirus while he was still in Europe.
"Halfway through the tour, people started getting sick and it started spreading from one person to the other," he said (see video below). "Once I did get sick, the third or fourth to last day [of the tour], it hit me pretty hard and I knew I probably had COVID. I just knew it."
Carroll said that after the last show in Germany got canceled, DEATH ANGEL and the other two bands flew home and went into self-quarantine. He was hospitalized a few days later.
"My fever was so rampant that I don't remember the ambulance picking me up," he said. "I don't remember the trip to the hospital. I don't remember getting to the hospital. That's all a blur. They put me in a coma, 'cause my lungs were failing," Will said. "And they put me on a ventilator. And I was in that state for 12 days. And that was no picnic…. When I was in the coma, I had heart failure at one point. The more I hear, the more horrified I get. So I'd just rather not know. [Laughs]"
He said the doctors were amazed to see him regain consciousness.
"When I came to, the doctors were, like, shocked," he said. "They were shocked. They thought I was gonna die. That's one of the first things out of their mouths — [it] was, 'We thought you were a goner, for sure.'"
Unable to walk on his own when he got out the hospital, Will is now regaining his strength, and credits his friends, family and fans for the outpouring of support that's helping him heal.
"I definitely have a new perspective on life, and I'm not gonna squander this second chance. I've definitely learned from this. It was definitely an eye-opening experience."
On March 22, TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Several days later, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt also said that he was infected with the new coronavirus.
DEATH ANGEL had spent most of the last few months touring in support of its ninth album, "Humanicide", which came out last May via Nuclear Blast.
The band was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Metal Performance" for the "Humanicide" title track. It was the group's first Grammy nomination.
Carroll joined DEATH ANGEL in 2009 as the replacement for the band's original drummer, Andy Galeon.
Will can be heard on the last four DEATH ANGEL studio albums: "Relentless Retribution" (2010), "The Dream Calls for Blood" (2013), "The Evil Divide" (2016) and the aforementioned "Humanicide".