Grammy-Nominated Singer Diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome
Sufjan Stevens has revealed on social media that he is battling the rare neurological disorder.
Sufjan Stevens, a celebrated Indie Rock singer and Grammy nominee, shared some sad news with his fans on Wednesday. In a candid Instagram post, the Mystery of Love singer revealed that he has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that has left him in a wheelchair. In a lengthy statement, he filled his fans in on what he has been going through over the past month.
Stevens, 48, explained to fans that while he is "very excited about having new music to share," he wanted to explain that he wasn't able to participate in the press and promotion leading up to the release of Javelin, because he is "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," he explained.
"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 Guillain-Barre Syndrome," he continued.
"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," he said.
"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," he continued.
"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."
Stevens maintains his prognosis is good. "It's a slow process, but they say I will "recover," it just takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work," he said.
"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!" he added.
"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," he wrote. "Yours truly from a wheelchair XOXOXO Sufjan Stevens."
According to the National Institutes of Health, Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a neurological disorder where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the nervous system, causing muscle weakness and temporary paralysis. It affects around one in 100,000 people a year. Symptoms generally start with a tingling in the legs or hands, progressing to weakness in both sides of the body that increases in intensity.