This year I was lucky enough to become a father to a beautiful baby girl who my fiance Cristina and I have named "Sophia Stormy". At the end of March I was on tour and received a call from our friend Dyna Shirasaki, the lead singer from Thundherstruck, who told me she was on the way to the hospital with Cristina as her water had broken, (Sophia wasn't due to be born till June 12th). Cristina was put on 3 weeks bed rest at Northridge Hospital and on my return from tour I moved into the hospital room with her. On the night of April 27th they decided to induce labor as they were worried about infection. Sophia was born at 1.10am on April 28th at only 3 pounds 10 ounces, seemingly healthy, and we were the happiest couple in the world.
When we woke up the next day and went into the NICU Unit to see her we were told she had some serious problems. Her esophagus was not connected to her stomach so she couldn't feed and she had some other issues that come with being that premature. She was immediately taken by emergency ambulance over to UCLA Hospital. I followed the ambulance over to the hospital and had to sign a stack of forms and was warned by the doctors that as she was very premature it could end in death. As it was a quick birth, Cristina had checked herself out of Northridge and her brother brought her over to UCLA. On the first day of Sophia's life as she underwent 6 1/2 hours of surgery, Cristina and I waited, terrified for the outcome. The surgeon, a brilliantly gifted man by the name of Dr. Daniel DeUargte managed to connect her esophagus to her stomach and save her life. Unfortunately she needs 2 more surgeries and the surgeons have decided that she needs to have this when she's put on some more weight and her lungs are better developed to handle the anesthetic. After that she should be able to lead a normal life.
The problem is that we didn't have enough medical insurance and we've been hit with over $65,000.00 in medical bills.
My friend Robert Tuozzo, the publisher of "22nd Century Rock Magazine" has generously offered to organize a benefit concert to help with these bills and the bills that will come with the next surgeries. The concert will take place at The Avalon, (The old Palace), in Hollywood on Wednesday, January 6th. 2010.
My band mates in Sweet have kindly agreed to play at the concert along with the "Band from TV" (Jamie Denton, Hugh Laurie, etc), Howard Leese, Kelly Hansen, David Paich and more friends are adding their support everyday so we'll keep this updated.
It's strange in a way. I've put on so many benefits for other people, I never thought the day would come that I'd need one for myself. If you can lend your support to what we hope will be a great night please buy a ticket and come and enjoy the show.
Cristina, Sophia and I wish you all a great Christmas.
Best regards, Stuart.
Stuart Smith, originally classically trained from 7 years old and further taught by Ritchie Blackmore, guitarist of Deep Purple, he went on to play with Sidewinder, French Kiss, Sweet, Keith Emerson, (E.L.P.), and Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow) amongst many others. In 1999 he released his first solo album on the Samsung label entitled “Stuart Smith's Heaven & Earth” which was produced by Pat Regan and Howard Leese, (Heart/Paul Rodgers) and featured such guest artists as Richie Sambora, (Bon Jovi), Joe Lynn Turner, (Rainbow), Glenn Hughes, (Deep Purple) Kelly Hansen, (Hurricane), Steve Priest, (Sweet) and Carmine Appice, (Vanilla Fudge). This CD was further licensed and distributed in Europe by Frontiers Records and Pony Canyon in Japan.
Tickets available HERE