Céline Dion’s Ribs Broke From Spasms Amid Stiff-Person Syndrome Battle

Céline Dion’s Ribs Broke From Spasms Amid Stiff-Person Syndrome Battle

Céline Dion’s Ribs Broke From Spasms Amid Stiff-Person Syndrome Battle

Céline Dion has opened up about the severe challenges she faces due to her battle with stiff-person syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. In a recent interview with Hoda Kotb on Today, the iconic singer shared some of the most harrowing aspects of her condition, including the fact that her muscle spasms have been so intense that they have caused her ribs to break.

“I had broken ribs at one point,” Dion revealed. “Sometimes, when it’s very severe, it can break some ribs.” The condition, which she first disclosed in December 2022, has had a profound impact on her life and career. Dion described the sensation of trying to sing while experiencing spasms as feeling “like somebody is strangling you.” She elaborated, “It’s like somebody is pushing your larynx and pharynx when it gets into a spasm.”

The Grammy-winning artist has been candid about how stiff-person syndrome affects her daily life. The spasms can occur in various parts of her body, including her abdomen, spine, and ribs, making even simple tasks challenging. “If I point my feet, they will stay in that position,” she explained. “Or, if I cook—because I love to cook—my fingers, my hands will get in position. It’s cramping, but it’s like in a position of like, you cannot unlock them.”

Despite these debilitating symptoms, Dion remains determined to continue her career. She has been undergoing rigorous physical and vocal therapy five days a week to manage her condition. “I work on my toes, my knees, my calves, my fingers, my singing, my voice,” she told Vogue France in April. “I have to learn to live with it now and stop questioning myself.”

Her journey has been documented in the upcoming Prime Video documentary, I Am: Céline Dion, set to release on June 25. In the documentary, Dion shares her struggles and her relentless efforts to return to the stage. “It’s not hard to do a show now; it’s hard to cancel a show,” she said. “I’m working hard every day, but I have to admit—it’s been a struggle. I miss it so much. The people. I miss them.”

Dion’s resilience is fueled by her passion for music and her fans. “The way I see it, I have two choices,” she said. “Either I train like an athlete and work super hard, or I switch off and it’s over. I stay at home, listen to my songs, stand in front of my mirror and sing to myself.”

Her family, friends, and fans have been a tremendous source of support. “People who suffer from SPS may not be lucky enough or have the means to have good doctors and good treatments,” she noted. “I have those means, and this is a gift. What’s more, I have this strength within me. I know that nothing is going to stop me.”

In February 2024, Dion made a rare public appearance at the Grammys, where she presented the award for Album of the Year. “When I say that I’m happy to be here, I really mean it from my heart,” she told the audience. Her eldest son, René-Charles Angélil, escorted her onto the stage, making the moment even more poignant.

Her battle with stiff-person syndrome has forced her to cancel all her scheduled tour dates through the spring of 2024. “I’m so sorry to disappoint all of you once again,” she wrote on Instagram. “I’m working really hard to build back my strength, but touring can be very difficult even when you’re 100 percent. It’s not fair to you to keep postponing the shows, and even though it breaks my heart, it’s best that we cancel everything now until I’m really ready to be back on stage again.”

Despite the setbacks, Dion remains hopeful and focused on her recovery. “My body will tell me when I can return to the stage,” she said. “But there’s one thing that will never stop, and that’s the will. It’s the passion. It’s the dream. It’s the determination.”

Her story is a testament to her strength and resilience. As she continues to navigate her health challenges, Dion’s unwavering spirit and dedication to her craft serve as an inspiration to many.

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