bassist Chi Cheng
has died at 42 after a long battle for his health.
Chi was in a coma for years after a car crash
in 2008. He was driving with his sister who only suffered minor injuries. Chi wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was flung from the vehicle, and sustained major injuries.
Despite posting regular updates on his recovery, his mother writes on the One Love for Chi
site that he died in an emergency room at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning.
"This is the hardest thing to write to you. Your love and heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing,"
writes his mother in a statement. "He was taken to the emergency room and at 3 am today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear."
Deftones have not issued a statement on Chi's death, but singer Chino Moreno
posted the short message "Rest in peace Chi Cheng"
on his Facebook
The band have been performing regular benefit gigs
to raise funds to support Chi's recovery, and for a while it looked like Chi was on a long but stable road to recovery
. Sadly, he was hit with pneumonia
in June last year, and by November his family started to consider stem cell therapy
to speed his recovery. "It's a miracle he's still with us,"
said his brother Ming
at the time.
Before his accident, Deftones were midway through recording the album "Eros."
The project was put on hold with the intention of finishing it when Chi had fully recovered, and went on to release "Diamond Eyes"
in 2010. Chi was replaced by Sergio Vega
, the Quicksand
bassist who once covered for Chi on bass in 1999 with his blessing.
Ultimate Guitar would like to extend its best wishes to Chi's family and friends at this difficult time.
Cheng family statement:
"Our dearest Family,
This is the hardest thing to write to you. Your love and heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing. I know that you will always remember him as a giant of a man on stage with a heart for every one of you. He was taken to the emegency room and at 3 am today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear.
He fought the good fight. You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone. I will write more later. I will be going through the oneloveforchi and any other information may not be reliable. If you have any stories or messages to share please send them to the onelove site. Please hold Mae and Ming and the siblings and especially Chi's son, Gabriel in your prayers. It is so hard to let go.
With great love and 'Much Respect!' Mom J (and Chi)"