Tragic News For KISS’ Paul Stanley
photo credit: blabbermouth.com
Rock Legend Mourns Crushing Loss
Our hearts are with KISS singer Paul Stanley as he mourns the loss of a man none of us knew, but who shaped Paul’s life in ways we never even realized; Dr. Frederic Rueckert, Paul’s friend and the doctor who 35 years ago successfully treated his congenital ear deformity, has died at the age of 95 according to an announcement made yesterday.
Stanley famously suffered from Grade 3 Microtia, a condition that leaves the external ear underdeveloped and essentially deaf. In addition to crippling insecurity as a result of the deformity, the 65-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer battled through the physical aspects of Grade 3 Microtia – effects that without the help of Dr. Rueckert would have spelled an early ending to Stanley’s career.
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) May 5, 2017
“I had nothing more than a stump on the right side of my head, and my ear canal was also closed, so I was deaf,” wrote Stanley in 2014.
“That left me unable to tell the direction of sound, and more importantly, made it incredibly difficult for me to understand people when there was any kind of background noise or conversation. These problems would lead me to instinctively avoid social situations.”
Through a series of five reconstructive surgeries, Rueckert crafted the framework of an ear using pieces of cartilage from Stanley’s rib cage and implanted the framework “with a series of skin grafts.” As Paul mourns the loss of the man whose impact on his life can never be understated, he’s still struggling to find the words to express his gratitude for Dr. Rueckert.
“He was a humble man who helped countless children avoid the experience and turmoil and endlessly compounded problems I faced as a kid. He helped give me a new lease on life; I gave him a Rolex watch when he retired. I could never figure out a way to truly show him how much he meant to me.”