Sufjan Stevens Reveals Guillain-Barré Syndrome Diagnosis

    Sufjan Stevens has revealed he was hospitalized last month due to complications from Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks nerve cells. “Last month I woke up one morning and couldn’t walk,” he wrote on a post on his website. “My hands, arms and legs were numb and tingling and I had no strength, no feeling, no mobility.”

    The singer-songwriter added that he was transferred to acute rehab on September 8, and is currently undergoing “intensive physical therapy/occupational therapy, strength building etc. to get [his] body back in shape and to learn to walk again.” He also said the medical situation is one reason he has not been doing press in promotion of his upcoming album, Javelin, which is out October 6. Read his full statement below.

    Hi Friends. Quick update on my life. I’m very excited about having new music to share, but I just wanted to let you know that one of the reasons why I haven’t been able to participate in the press and promotion leading up to the release of Javelin is bc I am in the hospital. Last month I woke up one morning and couldn’t walk. My hands, arms and legs were numb and tingling and I had no strength, no feeling, no mobility. My brother drove me to the ER and after a series of tests—MRIs, EMGs, cat scans, X-rays, spinal taps (!), echo-cardiograms, etc.—the neurologists diagnosed me with an auto immune disorder called Guillian-Barre Syndrome. Luckily there’s treatment for this — they administer immuno-hemoglobin infusions for five days and pray that the disease doesn’t spread to the lungs, heart and brain. Very scary, but it worked. I spent about two weeks in Med/Surg, stuck in a bed, while my doctors did all the things to keep me alive and stabilize my condition. I owe them my life.

    On September 8, I was transferred to acute rehab, where I am now undergoing intensive physical therapy/occupational therapy, strength building etc. to get my body back in shape and to learn to walk again. It’s a slow process, but they say I will “recover,” it just takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work. Most people who have GBS learn to walk again on their own within a year, so I am hopeful. I’m only in my second week of rehab but it is going really well and I am working really hard to get back on my feet. I’m committed to getting better, I’m in good spirits, and I’m surrounded by a really great team. I want to be well!

    I’ll keep you posted as I progress. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. And a huge shout out to all the incredible caretakers of the world working night and day to help us heal. They are living saints.

    Be well, be joyful, stay sane, stay safe. I love you.

    yours truly from a wheelchair XOXOXO Sufjan Stevens

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Sufjan (@sufjan)

    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

    Arts in one place.

    All of our content is free, if you would like to subscribe to our newsletter or even make a small donation, click the button below.

    People are Reading