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After unsettling reports that William "The Refrigerator" Perry had been hospitalized in serious condition last night, ESPN has good news that Perry is expected to fully recover from what is being described as a flare up of his Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The disease is a rare disorder in which "the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system," according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Apparently, it can develop very quickly and its cause is unknown. Unfortunately, so is a cure.
However, the prognosis for patients suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome does offer some hope:
"Guillain-Barré syndrome can be a devastating disorder because of its sudden and unexpected onset. Most people reach the stage of greatest weakness within the first 2 weeks after symptoms appear, and by the third week of the illness 90 percent of all patients are at their weakest. The recovery period may be as little as a few weeks or as long as a few years. About 30 percent of those with Guillain-Barré still have a residual weakness after 3 years. About 3 percent may suffer a relapse of muscle weakness and tingling sensations many years after the initial attack."
Perry was diagnosed last June with the disease. The Mayo Clinic adds that several treatments can ease the "symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. Most people recover completely from even the most severe cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome." Those who grew up being introduced to football by The Refrigerator and other greats of the era, as well as the many other football fans out there, are wishing the Fridge a swift and complete recovery.
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