“It’s always a f--king bummer of a week when one of your friends goes down,” Rick said in the show’s Feb. 19 episode, “Growing Pains.”
Keep reading for more information about Carl and his medical woes.
Carl is a former dirt-biker with gold mining in his blood.
According to Discovery’s website, Carl is a former professional dirt biker from a gold-mining family in British Columbia. In fact, Carl owns 1,000 acres of land that he and his late grandfather mined.
Earlier in his career, Carl left the mining trade to work on a pipeline in Alberta, Canada, but an offer from Gold Rush star Parker Schnabel drew him “back to the dirt,” the site explains.
Rick gave Carl his blessing to get his tumor removed.
Gold Rush’s Feb. 19 episode recapped some of Carl’s medical issues: A flashback from two years prior showed him dealing with multiple tumors. “I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate right now, man,” he told Rick at the time. “I have a tumor inside me on my lung, I’ve got one on my spine, and I’ve gotta get it looked at.”
The tumor turned out to be benign, the Gold Rush narrator explained, but it left Carl in constant pain.
Back in the present, Rick found Carl at the camp at Duncan Creek, and Carl told him he just got off the phone with his doctor. “He wants me to go under the knife, like, right now,” he says. “It’s like, non-negotiable, right? It’s special surgery.”
It was a big ordeal: Carl had to travel to a hospital in Kelowna, British Columbia, more than 1,000 miles away, in three days for the operation. Worse, he didn't know when he’d be recovered and able to return to work.
But Carl had Rick’s support through it all. “I’ve been watching you f--king limp around for the last couple years, right? It’s about time,” Rick told Carl. “It’s going to hurt us. Like, you’re my f--king guy here, right? Like, this place doesn’t go without you … I was shocked at first, Carl, but honestly, I’m happy for you. I hate seeing you like that. You’ll be back to backflips on your dirt bike in a month … You’re going to be a new man, Carl.”
Carl’s surgery didn’t go as expected.
Later in the episode, Rick gave an update to the rest of the crew, explaining that Carl was supposed to be in the operating room for six to eight hours and was supposed to go home that night.
“It didn’t go that way at all,” Rick revealed. “I don’t know what happened, but he was in there for over 12 hours … And he sure as hell didn’t go home. Like, he’s still there, and they don’t know when they’re going to let him out. … Surprisingly — not surprisingly, I mean — he’s in good spirits. … Hopefully, the result of this is a much better Carl.”
Carl was still MIA in the Feb. 26 episode of Gold Rush, but with any luck, fans will get another update on his condition soon.
Gold Rush airs on Discovery on Fridays at 8 p.m. EST.