Wuerffel being treated for Guillain-Barre syndrome

By Adam Silverstein
June 15, 2011

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 adam@, and I will forward them to the appropriate contact.


  1. Mr2Bits says:

    As a guy who lost his best friend to Chrones, I wish him well and hopefully a full speedy recovery. Some of these internal diseases where your body attacks itself are awful.

  2. SC Gator says:

    My first thought, of course, was to wish him well. My second was to be amused at recognizing it from watching enough House.

  3. Ryan says:

    I work at the Patricia Neal Rehab Center in Knoxville and I see this diagnosis all the time. Thankfully, by the end of therapy the patients are walking and getting their lives back. Since Danny caught this early, he should recover but the that of G B can come back if I’m not mistaken.

  4. swifty_711 says:

    Get well soon danny.

  5. Joe says:

    [Joe- I have edited your post simply due to the privacy requests of the Wuerffel family. I will not provide or publish specific, detailed medical updates without confirmation and approval. I’m sure you understand.]

    • Joe says:

      That’s fine if you don’t want to publish it, but it was info that has already been shared and made public.

      [Joe- If you submitted a real e-mail address with your comment, I would have sent you one privately with a fuller explanation. Suffice to say that I’m not going to trust something second-hand without seeing the actual e-mail headers to verify authenticity. It very well could be 100 percent true (and probably is), but I’m not going to put it out there unless I had that proof on top of everything else. Not to mention there are some inconsistencies between that particular information and what I have been told from those same people. Thanks.]

  6. Alex says:

    We’re praying for you, Danny. Much love, brother.

  7. Ziggy says:

    As a former Gator who had GBS while at UF and treated at Shands Hospital. I wish Danny and his family all the best. Mine was also caught relatively early and I still suffer with lost sensation in my finger tips 11 years later. Prayers are with you Danny fore a speedy recovery.

  8. Reirrups says:

    My friend had GBS. Scary stuff. Went from tingling in toes one day and on a ventilator the next. My prayers are with him.

  9. Basshole says:

    Here’s hoping for a quick recovery for Danny

  10. John says:

    Danny, it’s a tough one you have there but I would like to point you to this website: http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html You have nothing to lose and possibly much to gain. I wish you all the best.


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