Sufjan Stevens says he's relearning how to walk after Guillain-Barre syndrome diagnosis

Sufjan Stevens says he's relearning how to walk after Guillain-Barre syndrome diagnosis

Sufjan Stevens says that he's relearning how to walk after being hospitalized with the rare autoimmune disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome.

The Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter shared a message on social media Wednesday, explaining that he was recently diagnosed with Guillain-Barre, a rare disorder that targets the nerves and causes extreme muscle weakness and paralysis.

"Last month I woke up one morning and couldn't walk," Stevens, 48, wrote. "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 autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome."

Stevens added that he's been hospitalized for several weeks, receiving infusions to help prevent the disease from spreading to the lungs, heart, or brain. Ultimately, he says, the treatment process was "very scary, but it worked," and he's now undergoing occupational therapy to relearn how to walk.

"It's a slow process, but they say I will 'recover,'" he continued. "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."

Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Sufjan Stevens performs at the Oscars in 2018

As a result of his hospitalization, Stevens says he won't be able to promote his upcoming Javelin, debuting Oct. 6, but he's "very excited about having new music to share." He also praised his doctors for their dedication and for helping to "keep me alive."

"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 continued. "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!

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