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Celebrities Having Seizures: What’s Going On?

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March 15, 2013

Lil Wayne is the latest celebrity to be hospitalized following seizures.  It’s an absolutely terrifying medical emergency, one that most of us will never encounter in our lives.  Why, then, are we seeing it in young, seemingly healthy stars?  Let’s take a look at some of the more notable cases.

Lil Wayne

In October 2012, the rapper suffered from “seizure-like symptoms” but his reps were quick to dismiss the mid-flight crisis as “a severe migraine and dehydration.”  It was hard to deny the truth, however, when later that week Weezy suffered a second seizure, again on an airplane.  Both times he was sent to the hospital and in the weeks that followed, he revealed that he had been prescribed medication for his condition.

It’s now being reported that, on March 12, 2013, Lil Wayne suffered “multiple seizures” after shooting a music video.  He was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles but was released just a few short hours later.  So far, his reps haven’t issued a statement.

Kelly Osbourne

This one shocked a lot of people.  Kelly Osbourne, the daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, was on the set of her show, Fashion Police, when she collapsed and slid out of her chair while apparently having a seizure.  The 28-year-old TV host was also taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she spent five days undergoing a series of tests.  She was given a “clean bill of health” and was released earlier this week without doctors determining a definitive reason for the episode.

Rick Ross

Almost exactly a year before Lil Wayne, Rick Ross had two seizures in the same day, both times on a plane.  During the first one, which occurred in the morning, he was actually unconscious and needed CPR.  Amazingly, he recovered enough to post a video reassuring his fans of his safety just a few hours later but then the unimaginable happened – he had a second seizure.  He was taken to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital where he was treated and released.

What Causes Seizures?

Many already associate seizures with epilepsy which would make that an easy explanation but what if the sufferer doesn’t have the disorder?  Can regular, healthy people just suddenly go into convulsions?

The truth is that seizures can be caused by a number of things including brain injury, high fever, kidney or liver failure, abnormal glucose or sodium levels in the blood and, of course, drugs and/or alcohol.  Not much information was given about the nature of Lil Wayne and Kelly Osbourne’s episode but doctors did rule out drugs and alcohol in Rick Ross’ case.

Another possibility, at least for Weezy and Ross could be hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, which can occur while traveling by plane.  Before someone becomes unconscious, they may experience difficulty thinking, fatigue and euphoria.  Those symptoms can be easily mistaken for jet lag or excitement or could be overlooked entirely.

Regardless, it’s a scary reminder that even celebs can suffer from seizures and, rather than jumping to conclusions about the causes, we should educate ourselves and learn lessons that we can apply to our own lives.

photo credit: Disney ABC Television Group 

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