Earlier this week, Madina Lake bassist Matthew Leone was savagely beaten and left unconscious after he attempted to intervene in a domestic dispute in his hometown of Chicago. He suffered a broken jaw and nose and a fractured skull, and doctors were forced to remove a third of his skull to alleviate pressure on his brain, which was swelling.
For the past three days, Leone has been in and out of consciousness, and his twin brother — Madina Lake frontman Nathan Leone — has been at his side for every second. On Thursday (July 1), Nathan took a minute out of his vigil to speak with MTV News about the incident, and to give Madina Lake fans an update on Matthew's condition.
"I've been there for about 72 hours, next to him, constantly, and I basically just took an hour to go home and take a shower. I'm going back [to the hospital] now," Nathan said. "[Matthew] had all kinds of injuries, and his brain was swelling, so doctors had to remove part of his skull and put it on ice while we wait for the swelling to stop and the hematoma to stop leaking.
"It was touch and go for a while there, but at this point, things are starting to turn around, which is wonderful," the singer said. "The first couple of days, he couldn't recognize me or say anything coherent, but this morning he did. And now he's aware and talking and moving around a little, which is wonderful. So the prognosis is getting better by the hour."
Leone added that Chicago police have already made an arrest in connection with his brother's assault. (The Chicago Police Department had not responded to MTV News' request for information by press time.) Though what happened to his brother was terrible, Leone said that the reactions to the incident from Madina Lake's fans and fellow musicians have also reaffirmed his belief in humanity.
"The outpouring of support has been amazing," Leone said. "Every band we've ever toured with, every Facebook and MySpace outlet has been going crazy with love and support. We've heard from friends, fans, neighbors, labels and management. It's honestly overwhelming. When something horrible happens, you're inclined to despise humanity, but this proves how many amazing people there are in the world."
While his brother drifted in and out of consciousness, Nathan read him some of the e-mails and comments Madina Lake fans had written him, and he believes their kind words are what helped him pull through.
"I truly believe that," he said. "They helped save his life."
And though Matthew Leone has now regained consciousness, he still faces an uphill battle. Nathan says he's optimistic that his brother can leave the hospital "within the next three to five days" after the swelling has subsided. When he returns home, he'll have to wear protective headwear until doctors can re-attach the portions of his skull. Even after all of that, there's still one more hurdle he'll have to face.
"We don't have health insurance. It's a horrible coincidence, because as we've been on tour, it's been hard to manage bills," Nathan said. "And then you get home, and you start writing again, and the bills just become too hard to catch up with. So, no, we don't have insurance. But we'll deal with that when we have to."
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