Lindsey Buckingham underwent open-heart surgery last week according to Facebook post by his wife Kristen on Friday night (February 8th). According to the post, Buckingham's surgery resulted in vocal cord damage — which may have been due to a tracheotomy — although no details of what procedures were undertaken have been revealed. A post-op photo of the couple was posted across Lindsey's social media platforms and shows his face and neck severely bruised.
Heart disease has been a well known issue in Buckingham's immediate family, with his father Morris dying at age 55 in 1974, and Lindsey's oldest brother Greg — an Olympic silver medalist swimmer in the 1968 Mexico City games and former world record-holder in two events — also dying of a heart attack in 1990 at the age of 45.
Lindsey and Kristen Buckingham have been married since 2000 and have three children — William, aged 20; Leelee, 19; and Stella, 14.
Upon hearing the news, Fleetwood Mac — who ousted Buckingham from the band without warning last year — posted a brief and somewhat antiseptic message on Facebook — which was copied to Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, and Christine McVie's pages untouched — reading, “We are saddened by this news. Our thoughts and love go out to Lindsey and his entire family. We are hopeful for his speedy recovery.”
Kristen Buckingham's full Facebook post regarding Lindsey's surgery:
I am sad to say that late last week Lindsey underwent emergency open heart surgery. He is now recuperating at home and each day he is stronger than the last. While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is unclear if this damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not.
This past year has been a very stressful and difficult year for our family to say the least. But despite all this, our gratitude for life trumps all obstacles we have faced at this moment. We feel so fortunate he’s alive. As does he. He looks forward to recovery and putting this behind him. Needless to say, all touring and shows currently scheduled have been put on pause for the moment as he gathers the strength to heal completely.
Our family thought it important to share what’s happening with Lindsey with the hope that inspires someone else to seek preventative care. Lindsey’s family has a history of heart issues, having lost both his father at 56 and his brother at 46 (sic) to heart related illness. If anyone is experiencing even the mildest of symptoms we encourage you to seek the care of a physician.
We are so thankful for the kind and generous love given by the people surrounding Lindsey, me and our kids throughout this emotional time. We can’t thank you enough for all you did for our family. We will never forget you. XO
– Kristen Buckingham
Back in 2017 when promoting his and Christine McVie's self-titled album and tour, Lindsey Buckingham spoke to Build Series and touched upon how his work and career intersects with his family: “I'm not one of those kind of people where one's celebrity intrudes on one's life, which is exactly the way I want it for myself and for my family. There's no paparazzi lurking about. But, I think even beyond that, they look at what I do — I think they have a, sort of, guarded pride and respect for what I do. And at the same time, I think they have a healthy skepticism of show business, which is good.”