Fans Call Harrowing Seizure Footage Of Céline Dion Battling Stiff-Person Syndrome ‘Too Much’

Jul 01, 2024 by apost team

Céline Dion is a pinnacle name in the music industry. Her unique vocal tone and impressive singing abilities catapulted her into a lifetime of fame and success, with a four-decade career. 

Céline’s discography has shown the trials and tribulations of relationships, from the most beautiful love stories to the hardest moments of heartbreak. 

Being in the spotlight for such a long time is sure to be taxing on anyone, especially someone already facing such hardship. Fans grew concerned for the star years back when she started losing weight, her powerful voice overtaken by her small frame.

The singer has been dealing with health complications for some time now and had to cancel her upcoming events following a heartbreaking announcement. Céline shared the news that she was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease called Stiff-Person Syndrome. 

During the announcement of her illness, Céline said that her team of doctors was still learning about stiff-person syndrome, but they finally had some answers to her frequent spasms. She said that her condition had given her difficulties with walking and the use of her vocal cords.

Upon news of Céline’s health condition, fans worldwide have been sending her love and support in these trying times. Her sister, Claudette Dion, has shared significant updates about Céline’s condition, which had fans worrying about her deteriorating health. 

In June 2024, Dion opened up about her medical condition to Today’s Hoda Kotb for the first time. The singer detailed her struggles, painstakingly described what she felt, and confessed how her morale has been since being diagnosed with the rare condition. 

Dion also released “I Am: Celine Dion,” a documentary film showcasing her struggle living with spasms and symptoms brought about by her Stiff Person Syndrome. One footage, in particular, had fans crying as it showed the music icon in her most vulnerable state.

Be sure to scroll down this article to see the full video

Céline Dion (2004), (IMAGO / Rideaux-PicturePerfect)

On Dec. 12, 2023, Claudette spoke to 7 Jours Magazine and gave a rather harrowing update on the singer’s Stiff-Person Syndrome diagnosis. 

“'She's working hard, but she doesn't have control over her muscles. What breaks my heart is that she's always been disciplined,” Claudette told the publication. “She's always worked hard. Our mother always told her, 'You're going to do it well, you're going to do it properly.”

The National Health Institute explained that Stiff-person syndrome occurs when there is a disruption in communication pathways from the brain to the muscles, which turn rigid or stiff. Aside from muscle stiffness and spasms, the symptoms of this condition include the risk of falling down or problems with breathing.

Although there is a team of doctors aiding in her care, the research progress for Céline’s cure has since been slow. 

“The vocal cords are muscles, and the heart is also a muscle. This is what comes to get me. Because it's 1 out of a million case, the scientists haven't done that much research because it didn't affect that many people,” she added. 

Fans were worried about the singer’s worsening condition. 

“This is so cruel. Céline, may God bless you with a miracle and the strength to carry on,” another commented. 

The surprising update came a month after Céline was spotted in Las Vegas for the first time in public since the announcement of her diagnosis.

She was seen watching Katy Perry’s Las Vegas Residency and looking active and well when she posed for pictures with fans at the National Hockey League match between the Montreal Canadiens in November 2023 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Céline Dion (2005), (IMAGO / ZUMA Press)

In an interview with French publication Tele 2 Semaines on Jan. 20, 2024, Claudette opened up that she first began noticing her sister’s symptoms as early as the summer of 2021. 

"We know she's supported, she's an intelligent woman and we're not worried. We're not worried, because if it was very serious, we'd know about it,” she said, noting that Céline was suffering from "leg cramps" before saying that it was "a kind of twisted foot that's giving her muscle spasms in the leg."  

The symptoms started coming out in the summer of 2021, at a time when Céline was spending time out with her children in Quebec. 

"I think she's pushed herself a bit too hard and her muscles are crying out. She gives more than she's able to… It's not the first time it's happened to her,” her sister recalled at the time.

With Céline’s deteriorating health, many speculated that her voice had also been impacted. However, Claudette debunked these allegations in a previous interview with 7 Jours in August 2023. 

“Those who claim that my sister's voice has disappeared are wrong. She sang a few notes to me over the phone and her voice is still there. I was so happy and reassured to hear it. We give all our love to our little sister, and she has confidence, just like me, in her ability to overcome this ordeal,” she confirmed. 

Fans were worried about Céline’s worsening health condition. They showered her with prayers, love and support online. 

"Bless your sweet soul, I had no idea. You have a voice of an Angel. May god heal you and get you back in stage. I’m praying really hard for you. I love you so much, keep fighting," a fan said.  

Céline Dion (2013), (IMAGO / Future Image)

Dion has appeared sparingly in the public eye. In May 2024, Dion released the trailer for her upcoming Amazon Prime documentary, “I Am: Céline Dion.” 

“I have to admit it’s been a struggle. I miss it so much. The people, I miss them. If I can’t walk, I’ll crawl. And I won’t stop. I won’t stop,” Dion said in the documentary trailer

Around this time, Today’s Hoda Kotb teased that she got to talk to Dion in an exclusive interview, which was eventually released on June 14, 2024. 

In the 42-minute emotional conversation with Dion, Kotb asked her questions that her loyal fans worldwide wanted to know. Dion said that hiding her illness from her fans was “too much” for her. 

“What do you want me to say? I have what? We did not know what was going on. I should’ve stopped and taken the time to figure out and taken the time like it’s not enough,” she said. “And lying, for me, the burden was too much. Lying to people who got me where I am today – I could not do it anymore.”

Dion described the Stiff Person Syndrome, specifically the uncontrollable spasms, as if like “somebody is strangling you.”

“It’s like somebody is pushing your larynx/pharynx this way,” she detailed. 

Along with the interview, newly unearthed footage from her 2010 documentary, “Céline: Through the Eyes of the World,” saw her discussing the spasms with her doctor. 
“My main problem now is my neck, I cannot relax my neck so I cannot relax my vocal chords so I cannot vocal exercise well,” a 40-year-old Dion said in the clip, obtained by The Daily Mail. “My main problem is not that I can’t do the highs, I’m spasming, my eyebrows are spasming, my ears. I tell you I’m gonna flip soon, I’m telling you.”

Céline Dion (2017), (IMAGO / ZUMA Wire)

In a snippet shared by Entertainment Tonight from Dion’s documentary “I Am: Celine Dion,” the singer is seen lying on what seems to be a therapy bed. 

Doctors and therapists assisted her as she experienced a full-blown seizure. One of the men who was helping Dion asked him to squeeze the other one’s hand to test her dexterity, but her hands were frozen, the same as her face. 

Dion also sobbed and moaned in agony while her whole body was frozen as if she was sent into a catatonic shock. After administering a few doses of nasal spray, Dion relaxed, and her spasms stopped, sending her a wave of sadness after the episode. 

According to the video, the spasm was triggered by overstimulation as she was just recording in the studio, thrilled by her progress. Director Irene Taylor revealed on Today that watching and filming the 8-minute-long footage was the “most uncomfortable she’s ever felt.” 

"I had this uncertainty whether to keep filming or not. But (Céline) gave me the strength to just keep going. We had been filming together for many months at that point, so she had really trained me, 'Just keep going. If I have to stop you, I’ll stop you.'"

Taylor continued talking about her experience working and seeing Dion in her vulnerable state. 

"Her body was enduring something that was unimaginable, and I wasn’t sure if she was aware of it," Taylor remembered. "I wasn’t sure if she was going to survive it. It’s really hard to even sit next to her and talk out loud about it because it was very intense."

Céline Dion (2024), (IMAGO / ABACAPRESS)

Fans were vocal in expressing sympathy and worry about Dion’s condition. 

“Celine allowed herself to be filmed to raise awareness for Stiff Person Syndrome and to explain to her millions of fans what she’s been dealing with… starting 17 years ago. She didn’t have to be this vulnerable and put it all out there like this but she’s a brave and incredible person. She’s truly iconic… not only as a singer but as a role model,” a fan raved on YouTube.

“Respect. I appreciate Celine for being vulnerable & sharing. Celebrity or not, no one deserves to suffer like this,” another commented. 

“This footage is absolutely heartbreaking. Céline Dion has given so much to the world: her incredible talent, her captivating stage presence, and that magnificent voice. Seeing her in such pain is truly agonizing,” a third person said. 

Others even pointed out how Dion differed from other celebrities, who spend millions of dollars just to look good on camera. 

“Celebrities spend boatloads of money to maintain a flawless and perfect image. Celine allowing us to see her like this in her sickest and most vulnerable state is so brave and such a selfless act. Hopefully it can raise awareness of this horrible disease and to all those struggling through life will debilitating disabilities,” another commented. 

In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Taylor elaborated more on Dion’s episode that was featured in the film. 

“It was very upsetting. Very upsetting,” she described. I know it's hard on some viewers, it was hard on me too. But I will tell you that Celine felt validated to see herself like that and she thought it would help her if other people could understand what [SPS] is like."

Céline Dion (2024), (IMAGO / Cover-Images)

However, not everyone who watched the footage of Dion struggling with her condition believed it was a good decision to air it. Some said the graphic nature of the video and the fact that it did not air a disclaimer prior to its release was far too sensitive. One Reddit user said that, while they understood that “because of (Dion’s) status she has lots of personal moments on camera,” it was still “too much exposure!!!!”

Another user agreed that the video was overwhelming and wrote:

“Watching her in pain was so heartbreaking, I couldn’t help but cry too.”

“It's hard to see her like that I hope and pray that she gets well,” a third user commented.

Another viewer said, “this is so sad... it's very hard to see celine dealing with this because she's so pure and kind... we love you celine please stay strong and healthy.”

“This is harsh. I see her there struggling immensely,” another user expressed.

Meanwhile, Dion’s team explained that, since filming for the documentary wrapped up, the singer has made “significant progress.” Among the treatments Dion undergoes are physical therapy, intravenous immunoglobulin and muscle relaxers. Despite the positivity of her team and the progress she is making, Dion confessed that her condition weighs on her sense of self.

“Every time something like this happens, it makes me feel so embarrassed. I don't know how to express it, you know, to not have control over yourself,” Dion said to a member of her physiotherapy team, after the harrowing episode caught on film. Her PT then gave her an encouraging response:

“It's scary, I know. It’s hard. This is not the end of your journey.”

What do you think of Celine Dion’s condition? Isn’t she brave for showing her vulnerability to her fans? What are your messages to her? Let us know, and pass this on to your family, friends, and other Celine Dion fans out there!

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