Pop star Justin Bieber has asked fans to pray for him as he battles Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which has caused the right side of his face to have paralysis, but he said he trusts God that “it’s all for a reason.”
“Obviously as you can probably see from my face, I have this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt syndrome and it is from this virus that attacks the nerves in my ear and my facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis,” the singer and devout Christian said in an Instagram video.
“As you can see, this eye is not blinking. I can’t smile on this side of my face. This nostril will not move, so there’s full paralysis on this side of my face,” the Grammy winner told his 241 million followers.
“So for those who are frustrated by my cancellations of the next shows, I’m just physically, obviously not able of doing them. This is pretty serious as you can see,” he said.
“I wish this wasn’t the case but obviously my body is telling me I gotta slow down,” he continued. “I hope you guys understand, and I’m using this time to just rest and relax and get back to 100 percent so I can do what I was born to do.”
The 28-year-old singer told his fans that “it’s going to be okay and I have hope.”
“I trust God and I trust that it’s all for a reason. I’m not sure what that is right now but in the meantime, I’m going to rest and I love you guys,” he concluded.
Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a rare neurological disorder which causes paralysis of the facial nerve, or facial palsy, and a rash affecting the ear or mouth. Ear abnormalities such as ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss may also be present, according to the Rare Disease Database.
The illness is caused by the varicella zoster virus, which is also behind chickenpox in children and shingles, or herpes zoster, in adults.
Charles Nduka, a consultant plastic reconstructive surgeon in Britain, told Reuters that about 75% of patients with the syndrome who receive early treatment will make a full recovery.
"I did notice in the video shared by Mr. Bieber that he does appear to have some evidence of recovery, which is encouraging," Nduka said.
"With facial paralysis one of the most obvious things is patients are unable to close their eye fully to blink and they are unable to smile," Nduka added.
"Before the smile recovers, the first thing that will develop is there is increasingly symmetry in the face at rest. So, the base of the nose often elevates slightly, and the mouth becomes more even. On the video that was shared I could see some signs that there is some early recovery."
In March, Bieber shared with fans how God helped his wife, Hailey Bieber, after she suffered a blood clot in her brain.
A week after his supermodel wife was rushed to the hospital for exhibiting stroke-like symptoms due to a blood clot in her brain, the artist shared at his March 16 concert in Denver, Colorado, how the health scare impacted his family.
“You know, it’s kind of crazy how life throws you curveballs,” he said.
“You can’t really control much. Most of you probably know or see in the news about my wife. … She’s OK, she’s good, she’s strong,” he said. “But it’s been scary, you know, like it’s been really scary.”
The Biebers, who have been married for three years, identify as Christians. And the singer gave God the glory for his bride’s recovery.
“I know for a fact that God has her in the palms of His hands, and that’s a good thing,” Bieber testified.