A report in the new issue of the National Enquirer says that Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen was near death recently after his intestines "exploded." Van Halen was rushed to the hospital in what was described as "excruciating pain" after he swallowed a diet drink made partially of cayenne pepper, sources told the tabloid newspaper. Van Halen, who suffers from an inflammatory digestive tract condition called diverticulitis, had to reportedly have part of his small intestine removed as doctors battled to save the 57-year-old rock legend's life.
The Enquirer reported Eddie's wife, Janie Liszewski, his son and bandmate, Wolfgang and his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli all feared Eddie wouldn't make it.
A source said, "Janie was beside him the whole time and Wolf kept a constant vigil. They were sick with worry because he was in so much pain, it really was touch and go."
As for Bertinelli, the source said, "Valerie was scared to death Eddie was going to die. Although he's remarried, Eddie is still close to Valerie, and she was there for him the whole time."
The drink that Eddie consumed was reportedly part of the Master Cleanse Diet, which he tried because of its supposed ability to rid the body of toxins.
The plan replaces food with a liquid consisting of water, fresh lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Health professionals have expressed concern over the lack of nutrition and high spice content in the concoction.
Dr. James O'Brien said, "The stress of fad diets increases pressure on the colon, and if the person has diverticulitis there may be leakage from the bowel into the abdomen."
A source close to Eddie Van Halen revealed that after Eddie drank the mixture, his "abdominal region was a disaster area. The spicy treatment touched off an explosion in his intestines."
The guitarist is now out of the woods, although he'll be recuperating for at least the next four months, forcing his band to put all tour plans on hold until 2013.