Céline Dion shares harrowing footage of ten minute 'crisis' seizure following Stiff Person's Syndrome diagnosis

25 June 2024, 16:35 | Updated: 25 June 2024, 16:36

Celine Dion's diagnosis was featured as part of Amazon Prime series I Am Celine Dion. Images Courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios © Amazon Content Services LLC
Celine Dion's diagnosis was featured as part of Amazon Prime series I Am Celine Dion. Images Courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios © Amazon Content Services LLC. Picture: © Amazon Content Services LLC

By Danielle de Wolfe

Céline Dion has shared heartbreaking footage of herself suffering a ten minute 'crisis' seizure following her Stiff Person's Syndrome diagnosis.

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The Canadian singer has documented her struggle and diagnosis as part of her new feature-length documentary, I Am: Celine Dion, released on Tuesday, June 25.

Laying bare her battle with Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS), newly released footage shows the singer in tears as she's soothed by medical professions during a painful ten minute seizure.

Dion, 56, was diagnosed with the painful condition in 2022.

A rare autoimmune condition and neurological disorder, she has previously spoken about her heartbreaking battle with muscle stiffness and uncontrollable body spasms that leave her immobile.

It's estimated that around 70 people in the UK and around 330 people in the US have the disease, although little is known about it, with twice as many women affected than men.

Celine Dion's diagnosis was featured as part of Amazon Prime series I Am Celine Dion. Images Courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios © Amazon Content Services LLC
Celine Dion's diagnosis was featured as part of Amazon Prime series I Am Celine Dion. Images Courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios © Amazon Content Services LLC. Picture: Amazon Content Services LLC

Her diagnosis led her to withdraw from the public eye as the star came to terms with SPS.

It's a condition that currently has no cure.

Describing her battle, the Canadian singer - famed for hits including 'My Heart Will Go On' and 'It's All Coming Back To Me' - described how there were moments she 'cheated' during live performances to cover up her illness.

Eyes full of tears, the star admits: "When I had to cancel shows we have to tell the crowd and the people why. Lying, I can't lie anymore.

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"The singer admitted there were moments where she said she "cheated" as she blamed the microphone and moments where she had to stop the show because she couldn't continue to perform.

The footage sees Ms Dion receiving assistance from medical staff following the episode, as she's helped upright before voicing her embarrassment at succumbing to the seizure in front of the cameras.

She added: "From a sinus infection to an ear infection to a whatever. Sometimes I would point my microphone to the audience and make them sing it. There’s moments where I cheated.

"I tapped on the microphone like it was the microphones fault. I did what my mum said, I didn't flinch. There are also moments where we had to stop the show. Quick change [she clicks her fingers] and I never came back."

She concluded: "The lie is too heavy now."

Documenting her journey towards living an "open" life where her diagnosis is concerned, the singer describes the period as "such a challenge".

Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor, the documentary's crew followed the star for more than a year during her diagnosis.

“This last couple of years has been such a challenge for me, the journey from discovering my condition to learning how to live with and manage it, but not to let it define me,” said Celine Dion.

“As the road to resuming my performing career continues, I have realized how much I have missed it, of being able to see my fans.

"During this absence, I decided I wanted to document this part of my life, to try to raise awareness of this little-known condition, to help others who share this diagnosis."

The documentary is now available to watch in full on Prime Video.

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