Updated at 9:22 p.m.
Former Florida Gators quarterback Danny Wuerffel was hospitalized for and is recovering from a rare condition known as Guillain-Barre syndrome, a source close him confirmed to OGGOA Wednesday afternoon.
Wuerffel’s charity, Desire Street Ministries, of which he is the executive director, has provided the following statement:
“Fortunately, an early diagnosis identified the disease, permitting swift medical treatment,” writes Luder Whitlock, the board chair of DMS. “Consequently, his GSB specialist expects a full recovery. Meanwhile, Danny has asked me to express his appreciation for the prayers, love and support he has received during this time.”
In an e-mail he sent to a number of close associates that was forwarded to OGGOA late Tuesday evening, Wuerffel explained his current health episode.
A prayer request on my end. I caught a stomach bug last week on our Desire Ministry retreat in Colorado and my body got screwed up fighting the virus. I didn’t recover well. I started losing feeling in my legs, and then while in Montgomery this week visiting our ministry partner, Bryan Kelly, I started losing feeling and strength in my hands and arms. After a series of crazy tests all day Friday (it was actually a blessing to have been in Montgomery), I was diagnosed with Guillian Barre Syndrome, a pretty dangerous type of temporary but progressive paralysis. It was my immune system overreaction to the stomach bug that started attacking my nervous system. Fortunately, it was diagnosed early and I’m on a week-long treatment that should make everything be ok.
“He is OK but not great. Scary stuff,” the source said. “[The Wuerffels] are trying to balance privacy and keeping everyone informed.”
Wuerffel’s executive assistant, Sara Pace, told us late Wednesday that the Heisman Trophy winner “is thankful that he isn’t required to stay in the hospital overnight” but will continue receiving outpatient treatment.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Guillain-Barre syndrome “is a disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. […] The exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown, but it is often preceded by an infectious illness such as a respiratory infection or the stomach flu. […] In about 60 percent of cases, an infection affecting either the lungs or the digestive tract precedes the disorder.”
We will provide updates and relay any additional concrete information we learn about Wuerffel’s condition as soon as possible. For now, please respect his family’s privacy, pray for his health and hope for a speedy recovery.
Wuerffel has requested that any gifts, donations or letters of support be made to DSM rather than him personally. Should you wish to send any of the aforementioned, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will forward them to the appropriate contact.