Grammy- and Oscar-nominated indie musician Sufjan Stevens is learning how to walk again after being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, he said on his Tumblr page, which was reposted to his Instagram Wednesday.
Stevens, 48, said he woke up one morning in August with his hands, arms and legs numb and couldn’t walk. His brother drove him to an emergency room and, after a series of tests, doctors told him he has Guillain-Barré syndrome.
The musician explained he is still in the hospital and that is why he hasn’t been able to participate in the promotion for his upcoming album, “Javelin,” set to release on Oct. 6.
“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.”
Stevens said he is now undergoing intensive physical and occupational therapy to build strength and 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,” he wrote. “I’m committed to getting better, I’m in good spirits, and I’m surrounded by a really great team.”
According to the World Health Organization, Guillain-Barré syndrome is a condition in which a person’s immune system attacks the peripheral nerves. It is more common in adults and men, but it can affect people of all ages.
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