Sufjan Stevens hospitalised with Guillian-Barre Syndrome: “I woke up one morning and couldn’t walk”

Sufjan Stevens has opened up about being hospitalised with Guillian-Barre Syndrome after the illness left him unable to walk.

In a lengthy instagram post, the indie-folk musician said his symptoms of the illness first began to show last month. “My hands, arms and legs were numb and tingling and I had no strength, no feeling, no mobility.”

The rare disorder causes the body to attack its own nerves, which initially results in weakness and tingling in the hands and feet before spreading across the body and causing paralysis.

The musician says he was diagnosed with the condition in hospital, after which he spent two weeks bed bound “while my doctors did all the things to keep me alive and stabilise my condition. I owe them my life.”

The musician went on to reveal that he is currently undergoing “intensive physical therapy/occupational therapy, strength building etc to get my body back in shape and to learn to walk again.”

He added: “It’s a slow process, but they say I will ‘recover,’ 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 … I’m committed to getting better, I’m in good spirits, and I’m surrounded by a really great team.”

The musician said the illness is the reason he’s not being doing interviews to promote his new album, ‘Javelin’, which is released next month.

You can see the full post below:

‘Javelin’ is due out on October 6 via Asthmatic Kitty Records, and is available to pre-save/ pre-order here. The LP marks the artist’s first solo album since 2020’s ‘The Ascension‘, and his first back in “full singer-songwriter mode” since ‘Carrie & Lowell‘, according to a press release.

The forthcoming 10-track album sees “the entire experience of Stevens’ 25-year career brought to bear in four-minute bursts of choral, orchestral, and electric wonder”, as per the release.

The musician worked with a close circle of collaborators on the new LP, including adrienne maree brown, Hannah Cohen, Pauline Delassus, Megan Lui, Nedelle Torrisi and Bryce Dessner. Stevens’ cover of Neil Young‘s ‘There’s A World’ also closes the album.

The release will also be accompanied by a 48-page book of art and essays created by Stevens.

Back in June, Stevens announced that he is set to share new music as part of a 20th anniversary reissue of his 2003 LP ‘Michigan’. Earlier this year, it was also announced that the follow-up, 2005’s ‘Illinois’, will be turned into a musical.