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2006-06-08 6:03 PM (#3287)
Welcome all TS fans, old and new
Location: Philadelphia, PA
I would like to take this oppurtunity to welcome all the new traffic this board has been seeing since the UK shows. I would also like to make all of Twisted's fans aware of a web site that has been erected to honor the "Sixth Sister", Charlie Barreca.
I think Charlie would love to here from some of the fans and you can leave him a message at his site....
Whether or not you are an old fan or new, or if you even know Charlie, he would love to hear from all of you. Just go to www.sixthsister.com and click on sign guestbook and leave a message.
Charlie was the soundman for TS for many years and many shows and that includes when they hit England's shores. Charlie recently had a liver transplant
(see story below
) and the boyz recently played a show in his honor in Philadelphia.
After liver transplant, ex-Twisted Sister sound man wants to rock
KEYPORT, N.J. - Given a second chance at life, many people want to travel, reconnect with lost friends, or become active with a charity.
Charlie Barreca is interested in all of these things. But weeks after undergoing a liver transplant that saved his life, the longtime sound man for the heavy metal band Twisted Sister knows exactly what he wants to do with the beginning of the rest of his life.
"I want to get back behind the
) board one last time when they play around here," he said. "I'll make people's ears bleed, one last time."
Guitarist Jay Jay French, who has been friends with Barreca since 1969, said he'd be open to Barreca taking a turn at the board if it can be worked out.
"I'm just really happy he's here with us," he said. "It's startling to think how close you can be to the end. Charlie almost literally had to die in order to be saved."
Barreca, 64, fell ill in January 2005 with hepatitis C that damaged his liver beyond repair. He says he was never a heavy drinker or drug user.
Last July, the band played a benefit for the 64-year-old Barreca, who ended 11 years behind the sound board with no health insurance and little income. The medication he needs to prevent his body from rejecting the transplanted liver costs $20,000 a year.
About three months ago, he woke up in the middle of the night feeling strange, and went to test his blood sugar to see if his diabetes had worsened.
"I pricked my finger and no blood came out," he said. "I knew I was in trouble."
His wife, Laura, picked up the story from there, since Barreca remembers virtually none of the next few weeks.
"He slumped down on the floor, and I couldn't get him up," she said. "He was bleeding through his nose. The ambulance came and took him to the hospital, but he was fading quick."
When they arrived at the emergency room, Barreca felt so sick he didn't want to be treated.
"Just let me go," he told his wife.
"No!" she replied firmly. "We have to try this."
Before his condition had worsened, Barreca had made his wife promise to fight for him in just such a situation, particularly if he was too weak or sick, or if doctors felt there was no hope. That time soon came.
Barreca was in a coma, on a ventilator, for nearly two weeks.
At several points, doctors wondered if he had sustained brain damage, or if he was too weak to survive a liver transplant. Although they never explicitly suggested removing him from life support, Laura Barreca felt the conversation was headed in that direction at least three times.
"I don't know if he could hear what we were saying, but I told him if he didn't start to come out
(of the coma
), they were thinking of ending it," she said.
On Feb. 12, he woke up and pulled all the tubes out of his body, and asked for his wife - a good sign that he hadn't suffered brain damage.
But he soon started bleeding internally, and his condition went downhill quickly. On the morning of Feb. 16, doctors gave him a 20 percent chance of survival.
That afternoon, he got up out of bed and walked for the first time since falling ill.
"I'm a stubborn man," Charlie Barreca said. "If someone tells me I can't do something, that's instantly what I want to do."
Two days later, he underwent the transplant, receiving a liver from an unknown donor from the New Brunswick area, and went home on March 1.
He didn't suffer any brain damage, and his new liver is functioning well. The dosage of his anti-rejection drugs has been drastically cut, and he only has to visit the doctor once a week, down from two or three times a week just after the surgery.
He wants to meet the family of the donor and express his gratitude for a second chance at life.
"I want to tell them I'm going to take good care of this liver," he said. "I'll tell them, `I know you suffered a great loss, but you gave me and my family a new life."
Barreca worked the sound board for more than 3,000 Twisted shows between 1975 and 1986. The quintet best known for "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock" considered him a member of the group, cutting him in on a percentage of their merchandising revenues, and credited him on their album jackets as Charlie "Sixth Sister" Barreca.
"He's here, and his kids have him, and it's wonderful," French said.
Let's all give Charlie a hand! If you have any trouble getting into the guestbook, let me know at email@example.com.
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