Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

Celine Dion suffers medical emergency in new documentary: 'Don't cut down that scene'

By Brooke Villanueva Published Jun 26, 2024 11:36 am

Celine Dion gave a closer look at her current battle with stiff person syndrome in her new documentary, where she was seen suffering a full-body spasm and letting the camera roll all throughout.

In I Am: Celine Dion, the singer is seen getting paralyzed and sobbing for a few minutes while dealing with a health emergency during a physical therapy session. 

The medical crisis happened after recording her song Love Again. In that moment, her foot starts cramping and her body gets paralyzed after just a few minutes—making her unable to move as she deals with excruciating pain throughout her body.

As her mouth twitches on one side of her face, she squeezes the hand of one of her medical team members. "She's still with us," her physical therapist says. After getting back her bodily functions, Celine gets treated with Valium and nasal spray and has her blood pressure checked.

Celine's physician, Dr. Amanda Piquet, told TODAY that what happened to the singer was a spasm and not a seizure. "That anxiety, that panic, that continued spasm that was not breaking then very quickly triggered just a complete whole body spasm," she said.

"It's not a seizure. This is a spasm that is occurring, and patients are aware of what's going on. There's a lot of anxiety, there's a lot of panic, your adrenaline's rushing," she noted.

Director Irene Taylor recalled the intense episode in an interview with Los Angeles Times. "I was actually grateful that about four minutes into the episode, you hear her therapist mention that the cameras are in the room, and he checks with her if it’s OK. I wasn’t sure what she would say in that moment, but she said it was OK. I couldn’t believe what had happened, and I was so grateful she was OK, but I realized that it might be an opportunity, if Celine was up for it, to really show and really validate her suffering," she shared.

Irene said she showed Celine a "rough cut" of the film six months later to make sure the international star was fine with it. "I was very nervous. I knew there was no way I would ever do this without her consent. She said, 'I think this film will help me.' Then she said, 'Don't cut down that scene,'" she continued.

Celine disclosed in December 2022 that she had been diagnosed with stiff person syndrome, which is "a rare, progressive syndrome that affects the nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord," according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

It causes muscle stiffness as well as spasms, normally between the ages of 30 and 60. The symptoms can remain stable in some cases but could get progressively worse in others.

Because of this, the singer was forced to cancel a string of shows scheduled for 2023 and 2024, saying she was not strong enough to tour.