Now it can be told.
On Saturday morning at 5am, the trombonist Ruud Merx – a star of André Rieu’s Johann Strauss Orchestra – suffered cardiac arrest in his sleep.
Ruud was rushed to hospital in Leeds in a critical condition and Saturday’s concert in Nottingham was cancelled.
On Sunday morning, with no change in Ruud’s condition, André and members of the orchestra agreed to call off the rest of the tour. Ruud and his wife Alina Lin Jong are long-standing, popular members of the ensemble.
They have two children, both in their teens.
André arranged for the shocked family to come over from Holland. He then set in motion the procedure for Ruud to be transferred back to his home country, where Ruud remains in a coma.
The orchestra have been told that there is little hope of recovery, but they continue to pray for Ruud.
As do we all.
Ruud’s identity and condition have been published here with consent.