Singer Sufjan Stevens detailed his diagnosis of Guillian-Barré Syndrome Wednesday in a post on his website.
The musician, who has a new album called “Javelin” on the way, wrote that he hadn’t been able to participate in press and promotion for the record because he was hospitalized with the autoimmune disease and was doing “intensive physical therapy.”
“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,” Stevens wrote. “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.”
Stevens recounted that luckily, there is treatment for Guillian-Barré.
“They administer immuno-hemoglobin infusions for five days and pray that the disease doesn’t spread to the lungs, heart and brain,” he wrote. “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.”
Transferred to rehab Sept. 8, Stevens discussed the challenges of the intensive physical therapy he has been undertaking to recover. As of his post, he remains in a wheelchair learning 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,” he added. “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 continued. “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.”