Wuerffel: Signs pointing toward 'good recovery'


Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 2:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 2:14 p.m.

Former Florida quarterback great Danny Wuerffel is making encouraging progress in his recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome and is “getting a little bit better each day.”

That is the word from Wuerffel in a message from the former Heisman Trophy winner that has been posted on the Desire Street Ministries’ website.

Wuerffel, 37, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome on June 10 and has been receiving treatment in Birmingham, Ala. The disorder occurs when the body’s defense system mistakenly attacks part of the nervous system. It can cause paralysis and is life-threatening if not detected early.

“I seem to get a little bit better each day, and feel confident that the worst is behind me,” Wuerffel said in his message, which was posted on Tuesday. “I feel so grateful as my experience with Guillain-Barre seems to have been on the mild spectrum.

“While it’s scary to literally sense your body moving towards being paralyzed, I was diagnosed pretty quickly and started treatments right away (and like many health issues, I think the tests and treatments caused as much pain and discomfort as the syndrome did).

“I’ll finish the second round of treatment (Tuesday), then see the doctor and find out what’s next. Most likely, I’ll be free to leave Birmingham.”

Barry Snyder, the director of Desire Street Ministries where Wuerffel works full time, said last week that the diagnosis was made early and Wuerffel expects to make a full recovery.

In his message, Wuerffel said signs are pointing toward a “good recovery.”

“I can currently stand and walk very slowly, and my arms seem to work pretty well (just very weak),” he said in his message. “I’d say I feel less like I’m paralyzed and more like I’m just very weak.

“I got a little cocky trying to walk (Monday) and was a little humbled. I didn’t pass out, I just got a little sleepy while standing (that’s my story).

“My next assignment for the next several weeks will be to rest, recover and start physical therapy. All signs are pointing towards a good recovery. There is a chance my reflexes and coordination may not fully recover. Please pray that isn’t the case.”

Wuerffel said he hopes to grow from the experience.

“Pray I will use this time wisely,” he said in his message. “Pray I will hear God’s voice clearly and that this will be what author Richard Rohr calls ‘liminal’ time, or time at the threshold where God puts us in a strange situation where we are apt to learn and grow. …

“I’m grateful for this time. I look forward to come back a better man and leader.”

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