Frontman Leslie recovering from amputation of lower right limb following two-day battle to save it from infection connected with diabetes

Leslie West

Surgery: Leslie West

Mountain frontman Leslie West has had his lower right leg amputated after suffering an infection connected with diabetes.

Doctors spent two days trying to avoid the extreme measure – but surgery was deemed essential to keep him alive as the disease began to spread through his body.

The 65-year-old singer and guitarist was on a flight to Biloxi, Mississippi, to perform with the respected hard rock band when his leg began to swell and discolour.

On arrival he was taken to hospital where doctors identified the infection was complicated by “peripheral arterial disease and blood clotting factors.”

West’s wife Jenni says: “They tried for two days to save it, to no avail. The staff at Ocean Springs Hospital have taken excellent care of Leslie and should be called angels for their efforts and tenderness shown in this time of crisis.”

Mountain formed in 1969 and are generally regarded as a major contributor to the development of heavy metal. They split in 1972 but reformed two years later and have continued to operate since then. Drummer Corky Laing joined a year later and bassist Rev Jones has been a member since 2008.

The band played the Woodstock festival in 1969 although their performance wasn’t part of the movie made about the event. They’re known for the songs Mississippi Queen, and Nantucket Sleighride in the UK.

West has recorded a solo album, The Unusual Suspects, featuring guest appearances by Slash, Zakk Wylde, Billy Gibbons, Joe Bonamassa and Steve Lukathar. It’s set for release in the coming months.

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