Sydney archbishop struck down with debilitating syndrome

Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney is undergoing rehabilitation after being hospitalised with an immune-system related syndrome.

Shortly before Christmas, Archbishop Fisher contracted a gastrointestinal infection which was complicated by the syndrome.

This was later diagnosed as Guillain-Barre syndrome.

This is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system.

The condition includes varying degrees of muscle weakness and temporary paralysis.

The great majority of people who suffer from the syndrome make a full recovery.

But in severe cases, the symptom can interfere with the body’s vital functions like breathing and can be life-threatening.

Archbishop Fisher spent some time at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, including a spell in intensive care.

In a January 13 update, the archbishop said he had been able to stand for a few moments, which he described as “very encouraging”.

A day-by-day improvement has allowed Archbishop Fisher to be transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

According to a January 22 report, he spends most of the day exercising and working with physiotherapists to regain muscle strength.

He has thanked people who have been praying for his recovery and has assured them of his prayers for them.

Friends, family, colleagues, supporters and Catholics from all around Australia and internationally have been expressing their support via email, phone, text and social media.

Youth networks throughout Sydney archdiocese communicated quickly about the need for prayers when the archbishop was first diagnosed and gathered for a night of prayer on January 9 at Sacred Heart parish, Darlinghurst.

Young people from Catholic Youth Services, Catholic University Chaplaincies, University of Notre Dame and Australian Catholic University joined together to alert their networks and host the night.

In one message of thanks, Archbishop Fisher stated that he had asked people to pray that he would have the virtues of patience, courage and hope.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , ,