Image Credit: Earl Gibson III/Shutterstock
Lil Wayne is a rapper who was diagnosed with epilepsy.
He first started suffering from seizures in childhood.
In 2013, his health issues became public when he had to spend a week in the hospital following a seizure.
Lil Wayne, 40, is one of the world’s most popular rappers, but behind the scenes, he has had to deal with a battle of epilepsy. The talented musician first started experiencing seizures, brought on by the disorder, when he was just a child. Although he was private about the disorder during the early days of his fame, he made it public when he was forced to spend a week in the hospital due to the scary seizures he had.
After his headline-making hospital stay, Lil Wayne started talking about his health in various interviews. He’s also reportedly had to cancel some gigs and/or have private flights redirected due to having more seizures. He’s tried to manage lifestyle changes that can possibly prevent the severity of the disorder and has inspired many others living with the condition.
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Lil Wayne has been open about his epilepsy since 2013. (Earl Gibson III/Shutterstock)
Find out more about Lil Wayne’s epilepsy and the disorder itself below.
Lil Wayne Diagnosed With Epilepsy
Lil Wayne has reportedly had to cancel some gigs over the years due to his epilepsy. (Steven Ferdman/Everett Collection)
Lil Wayne has had epilepsy since he was a child, but admitted he wasn’t officially diagnosed back then “due to lack of knowledge,” in a 2013 interview. He also said that one of his close cousins previously suffered from seizures and sadly ended up dying from one. His own hospital stay from seizures helped him to understand the disorder more and how best to prevent it when he can.
What Is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is “a brain disorder that causes recurring, unprovoked seizures,” according to The Epilepsy Foundation website. A diagnosis might be made by a doctor if a person has “two unprovoked seizures or one unprovoked seizure with a high risk of more.” If seizures aren’t caused by epilepsy, they can be caused by “a brain injury or a family trait,” the website states. Sometimes a cause may also be unknown.
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The Epilepsy Foundation defines seizures as “sudden surges of abnormal and excessive electrical activity in your brain” that “can affect how you appear or act.” There are also different types of seizures and depending on which one a person has, it can lead to serious damage. A focal onset seizure can start in one area or group of cells in the brain and when it’s labeled as focal onset aware seizure, it means the person is aware it’s happening. Focal onset impaired awareness seizures happen when a person is confused or their awareness is affected. When a beginning of a seizure is not known, it’s called an unknown onset seizure.
Causes of epilepsy can range. They include infections, autoimmune issues, genetics, metabolic issues, and structural causes. Newborns can even have seizures if there is a lack of oxygen to the brain or other issues at some point.
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As far as treatment goes, there is no cure for epilepsy, but there are certain things that can help and try to either avoid or control the severeness of the seizures. Some treatment includes certain medication, like an Anti-Epileptic Drug (AED). Devices, dietary therapies, or surgery can also help control them, The Epilepsy Foundation confirms. If treated properly, people with epilepsy can live long and healthy lives.
How Long Has Lil Wayne Been Sick?
He had his first seizure as a child but continued to have them in adulthood. He once admitted he had three seizures in a row and it lowered his heart rate to 30 percent of its normal activity. “Basically, I could’ve died soon. That’s why it was so serious,” he said in an interview, according to CBS News. He further explained that a lot of the seizures were caused by certain factors, like stress, in his life. “The reason being for the seizures is just plain stress, no rest and overworking myself. That’s typical me, though,” he said.
How Is Lil Wayne Doing Today?
Lil Wayne on stage during a performance. (Jason Mendez/Everett Collection)
In 2012, Lil Wayne reportedly Wayne made two emergency landings due to health issues, including a seizure, and after his 2013 hospital stay, he continued to have seizures on and off throughout the years. In 2022, he made headlines when he was “in stable condition and good spirits” after suffering two “minor” seizures aboard a flight that needed to then make an emergency landing in Omaha, Nebraska, Entertainment Weekly reported. After the first seizure, the jet landed, but Lil Wayne reportedly refused treatment, so it took off once again, until he suffered a second seizure, causing another emergency landing. He was then sent to the hospital.
“Under the guidance of his own doctors, he is now in stable condition and good spirits,” his reps told the outlet at the time. “He thanks his fans for their everlasting support, prayers and well wishes.”
As of 2023, Lil Wayne has continued working on music and touring. His most recent tour was The Welcome to the Carta Tour, which took place in Apr. and May. He ended up abruptly ending the last show, in Los Angeles, CA, early after he felt the fans didn’t support the supporting acts enough, according to Hot New Hip Hop.
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