January 5, 2021


 Last week, Country Music Hall of Fame member Ricky Skaggs revealed he experienced a major health scare over the summer. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Skaggs details the circumstances that led him to quadruple bypass heart surgery last June.

In early 2020, the Country and Bluegrass legend knew something wasn’t right. He was easily winded and felt a new tightness in his chest. But he almost delayed medical testing. Today, feeling “150%,” he’s thankful he didn’t.

“He (Dr. Sreekumar ‘Kumar’ Subramanian) told me that when he was finished with the bypasses, he literally was holding my heart in his hand, and my heart literally leapt in his hands when the blood started flowing through it again,” a tearful Skaggs tells PEOPLE. “I just started bawling. It was the most incredible thing I have ever heard in my life.”

Skaggs credits God for giving him the foresight not to delay the angiogram that led to surgery.

“Scripture tells us God always knows the thoughts of man,” Skaggs recalls to PEOPLE. “That was proven to me at that moment, because while I did not speak it from my mouth, I thought about putting the angiogram off for a week. When I thought that thought, it was like I saw the Lord with a jeweler’s eye glass on. He was peering at me but never said a word. But just by His look, I knew He was saying, ‘Absolutely no.’ It put the fear of God in me. He had given me so many grace situations, but He was serious that I needed to take care of this now.