Sufjan Stevens in 2017 Alamy Stock Photo
Sufjan Stevens

'I woke up one morning and couldn't walk': Sufjan Stevens recovering from neurological disorder

‘My doctors did all the things to keep me alive and stabilise my condition. I owe them my life,’ Stevens said.

US INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER Sufjan Stevens has said he is recovering from Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that left him immobile.

“Last month I woke up one morning and couldn’t walk,” Stevens said on Instagram.

“My hands, arms and legs were numb and tingling and I had no strength, no feeling, no mobility.”

The 48-year-old artist said his brother drove him to the emergency room and that after a barrage of tests doctors diagnosed him with Guillain-Barre, an auto-immune disorder in which the immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.

Stevens is among the best-known figures in the US indie music scene.

In 2018 he nabbed an Oscar nomination for best original song, for “Mystery of Love,” which featured in the Luca Guadagnino drama Call Me By Your Name. His song ‘Chicago’ also prominently featured in the 2004 Oscar-winning film Little Miss Sunshine.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Stevens said he is now in rehab, but his condition has prevented him from promoting his new album, “Javelin,” which is due next month.

“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,” he said. “I’m committed to getting better, I’m in good spirits, and I’m surrounded by a really great team.”

– © AFP 2023

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