Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens | Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Sufjan Stevens Reveals Guillain-Barré Syndrome Diagnosis

Sufjan Stevens has revealed he’s been diagnosed with a rare immune disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome. In a statement posted on his website, Stevens says the diagnosis came completely as a complete shock after he woke up one morning last month to discover he 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 with an autoimmune disorder called Guillian-Barre Syndrome.”

Sufjan Stevens: ‘Will Anybody Ever Love Me?’

“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,” Stevens continued. “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 is now undergoing intensive physical therapy, “to get my body back in shape and to 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,” the songwriter wrote. “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!”

The illness has meant Stevens hasn’t participated in much promotion for his new album Javelin, which is due out on Friday, 6th October. The album is the follow-up to 2020’s The Ascension, and will feature guests such as The National’s Bryce Dessner.

A couple of singles from the record have been released, including ‘So You Are Tired’, and ‘Will Anybody Ever Love Me?’.

“I’ll keep you posted as I progress,” Stevens finished. “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.”

Further Reading

Sufjan Stevens Announces New Album, Shares New Single ‘So You Are Tired’

Sufjan Stevens’ Album ‘Illinois’ has Been Turned Into a Musical

Sufjan Stevens Shares Alternate Versions Of ‘Fourth Of July’

Must Read