The family of DEFTONES bassist Chi Cheng has revealed that his health has taken a turn for the worse. The musician, who has been receiving special treatments in New Jersey after showing more signs of emerging from a semi-comatose state to a semi-conscious state, over three years since he was gravely injured in a November 2008 car crash, has been diagnosed with pneumonia.
According to postings on the OneLoveForChi.com web site, which was created to help raise funds for Cheng and his medical expenses, Cheng “just got back home last night from NJ and is in ER with SOMETHING serious going on. Pneumonia and don’t know what else. Not good! Please send the word again to PRAY HARD.” A follow-up posting revealed that the bassist was in the intensive care unit and taking three antibiotics to treat the pneumonia. They also stated that his blood pressure and oxygen levels were both low.
P.O.D.‘s Sonny Sandoval also checked in via Twitter after speaking with Chi‘s family. He said, “Spoke with Chi‘s mom. He really needs our prayers. He’s in ICU and still fighting. Gods will be done!”
Cheng required surgery after the car accident to remove part of his brain, but his recovery was strong enough that he was taken off life support seven months later.
Over the course of the past two years, Cheng has emerged from his coma for brief intervals. He opens his eyes and apparently can see and hear things going on around him, but cannot respond verbally.
DEFTONES have held several benefit concerts and continue to donate money from the band’s tours. Singer Chino Moreno said that the group’s fans have continued to help as well. “Whatever people can do, it’s all appreciated, and it’s all just in the hopes that there will be one day where he can talk back and have a conversation and see his kids and, you know, continue on living, you know,” he said. “That’s what we pray and hope for, you know what I mean, that’s all we can do.”
DEFTONES is in the studio working on a follow-up to 2010’s “Diamond Eyes”, one of the band’s most successful outings yet.
Sergio Vega continues to play bass for the band. Vega stepped in for touring purposes after Cheng‘s accident, and stayed on to record “Diamond Eyes” with the group.