In a statement posted to Instagram, Hillsong described Taylor as “a worshiper, a lover of Jesus and one of the purest hearts ever” and told followers that she “could do with your prayers.”
“She has just come through a 9 hour brain surgery and we are believing for no more bleeds complete healing and miracles in Jesus name — we are not out of the woods by any means — tonight she is in ICU but we believe in Jesus, his resurrection power and for hope to appear,” Hillsong stated.
Hillsong’s Cass Langton posted an update from Taylor’s mother about the worship leader’s condition on Tuesday, explaining that the singer was recovering.
“Chelsea pulled the life-support out last night. She is talking and trying to get out of bed. Honestly this is a miracle,” read the statement posted by Langton.
“I just told her the whole church is praying and fasting all over the world and she smiled and said thanks mum,” she added, noting that Taylor was being moved out of intensive care.
Langton described the situation as “miracles in motion,” explaining in her Instagram post that “from Costa Rica to Sydney, Melbourne to France, Redding to San Fransisco [sic] we have been praying.”
“… this morning we gathered in the creative west wing as a creative team and al hills campus team and we received communion, worshiped and prayed for chels,” she added.
News of Taylor’s medical emergency comes as another worship figure connected to Hillsong, music writer Marty Sampson, gained headlines for explaining that his Christian beliefs were on “incredibly shaky ground.”
Sampson, known for penning lyrics for Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United, Delirious and Young & Free, made headlines earlier this month after announcing in a since-deleted post on Instagram that he was “genuinely losing my faith.”
Later, in comments posted to The Christian Post’s Facebook page in response to an opinion column by Michael Brown, he explained that he had not yet “renounced” Christianity.
“I have and continue to analyze the arguments of prominent Christian apologists and biblical scholars, and am open minded enough to consider the arguments of atheist debaters and debaters from other religions,” wrote Sampson.
“If the truth is true, it will remain so regardless of my understanding of it. If I search it out, surely it will become even more clearly seen as the truth that it is. Examining a diamond more closer reveals the quality of the diamond. As I am still breathing, I am still learning.”
Chelsea Taylor, the Hillsong worship leader is continuing to receive medical treatment.
“Ok people we need prayer RIGHT NOW!!!” wrote friend Emma Fellers on Instagram. “Chelsea is going back into theatre apparently she has developed a left arm and facial droop… her brain may have spasmed. God’s got her but please rally right now with us!!”
On Wednesday, Fellers added that Taylor was undergoing a procedure “to take care of the potential vasospasm in her brain.”
According to Healthline, a vasospasm is a “sudden contraction of the muscular walls of an artery” and can occur in the brain shortly after an aneurysm. They are usually not particularly dangerous, but can mimic the symptoms of a stroke — sufferers may experience a severe headache, dizziness, numbness or confusion.
Fellers added that Chelsea was “doing okay,” but is “utterly exhausted and needs extra rest.”
“Please pray for successful repeat of this procedure tomorrow to continue to prevent further problems, and supernatural insight for the doctors, supernatural REST and recovery for Chels, and strength for her family!” she added.
Faithwire has reached out to Hillsong’s Creative Pastor, Cass Langton, for further comment on Taylor’s current condition.
I have a million and one questions regarding this story.
How does anyone get an aneurysm from attending church unless it’s in the rock atmosphere of Hillsong?
Was the singer under some medical cloud before this afflicted her? Was there something in the atmosphere of Hillsong’s ‘worship’ that triggered her collapse? Did her condition begin some time ago as simply a mild headache or series of headaches. Or was this a consequence of the style of music played Sunday after Sunday at Hillsong services that caused her haemorrhage? And notice, she wasn’t just taken to the ER in case of a scare and then later released.
Instead she is in surgery for 9 Hours??
From one article there is an association with what is termed Musical Hallucinations
Those with an underlying neuro-degenerative disorder or isolated hearing impairment tended to hear more persistent music, which was often religious and patriotic compared to those with a structural lesion, where more modern music was heard, and those with psychiatric disorders where music was mood-congruent.
This case series shows that musical hallucinations can occur in association with a wide variety of conditions, of which neurological disease and brain lesions represent a substantial proportion, and that Lewy body disorders are the most commonly associated neuro-degenerative diseases. A future prospective study would be helpful to further delineate an association between musical hallucinations and neuro-degenerative disease.
Musical hallucinations are an uncommon phenomenon. In one series of general psychiatric admissions, the prevalence rate was 0.16% (Fukunishi et al., 1998). In another series of elderly subjects at an audiology clinic, approximately one-third experienced auditory hallucinations, but of these only one subject (or a total of 0.8%) experienced musical hallucinations (Cole et al., 2002).
More detailed reports of musical hallucinations have been published, albeit sparingly. Berrios (1990) published the first series of subjects with musical hallucinations and identified that they were more often seen in females compared to males, and positively correlated with advancing age, deafness, and brain disease. Since the Berrios (1990) study, literature reviews compiling case reports and small case series have been published (Keshavan et al., 1992; Evers and Ellger, 2004); however, no large single centre case series has been published to date.
The most commonly accepted predisposing condition for the development of musical hallucinations has been shown to be hearing impairment, however, most people who have significant hearing impairment never develop musical hallucinations. Therefore, hearing impairment represents one variable in what likely represents a complex and multifactorial pathophysiological process (Evers and Ellger, 2004). Lesions anywhere along the auditory pathway, from the ear to the auditory association cortex, can lead to musical hallucinations (Cope and Baguley, 2009). In keeping with Berrios’ reported association between brain disease and musical hallucinations, case reports detailed musical hallucinations occurring in the setting of cerebral ischaemia (Calabro et al., 2012; Dinges et al., 2013; Woo et al., 2014), encephalitis (Douen and Bourque, 1997), tumour (Scott, 1979; Nagaratnam et al., 1996), post-surgery (Keshavan et al., 1988; Isolan et al., 2010), multiple sclerosis (Husain et al., 2014) and epilepsy (Roberts et al., 2001; Gentile et al., 2007; Ozsarac et al., 2012).
Given the strong association between hearing impairment and musical hallucinations, some have suggested that musical hallucinations represent a release phenomenon. According to one proposal, sensory deprivation eliminates the afferent input to the auditory sensory processing system allowing spontaneous activity to occur in a network (Griffiths, 2000), analogous to the Charles Bonnet syndrome, in which visual impairment precipitates the development of visual hallucinations (Burke, 2002). A significant proportion of patients with the Charles Bonnet syndrome eventually develop dementia with Lewy bodies (Lapid et al., 2013). However, the prevalence of neurodegenerative disorders among those who experience musical hallucinations, and how these subjects compare to those with musical hallucinations in the setting of other disorders has not been addressed in the literature to date. Musical hallucinations are often noted to occur in cognitively normal people; however, anecdotally musical hallucinations have been described to occur in the presence of dementia (Mori et al., 2006; Berger, 2015).
As far as classical music composers are concerned, mood disorders are often described and range between 34.6% and 41%.12,13,25 In at least one third of cases, symptoms have been clearly responsible for the interruption or cessation of their creative work, disruption of life patterns and sometimes relationships. Robert Schumann, who died in an asylum in 1856, is a typical example of a major mood disorder sufferer. His compositional output waxed and waned dramatically over his professional life, reflecting to some degree his emotional state probably disrupted by a bipolar disorder.19,26 In fact, despite the reasonable suspicion that Schumann may have died from neurosyphilis, the family history of suicide is highly suggestive of a bipolar disorder that, ultimately, led to a suicide attempt in February 1854, and to his eventual death in July 1856.
Gustav Mahler presented an obsessional neurotic personality, well known also to Freud, with an over-attention to details of staging and musical production; these behavioural symptoms associated to a not well-defined movement disorder, led to speculations on a possible Sydenham’s chorea.27 However, Mahler’s mood instability and the family history for psychiatric disorders may also suggest a bipolar trait or, at least, a cyclothymic disorder. He was the second eldest of a large family, his brother Alois misrepresented himself in a grandiose way and manifested an exceptionally extravagant lifestyle, his sister Justine presented hallucinations and his brother Otto committed suicide.19
As far as psychotic illnesses are concerned, there may seem to be a discrepancy among studies with prevalence rates ranging between 1% and 10%.12,13 Unfortunately, Ludwig’s series poorly discriminates between affective psychoses and schizophrenia in part a reflection of the status of American psychiatry at the time he was writing. Further, although the occurrence of a psychosis in one tenth of cases may be considered high, it is important to acknowledge that many probably suffered organic psychosis due to the high rates of alcohol abuse (21.2–40%) and disorders such as syphilis. Compared to alcohol abuse, data about substance dependence or abuse are quite fragmented in these composers.
Jazz, pop and rock music
Although several authors enjoyed speculating on lives of famous classical music composers, studies on jazz, pop or rock music are still an exception to the rule. Wills reviewed biographical data of 40 jazz musicians and mood disorders were probably or definitely identifiable in 28.5% and suicide attempts in 2.5%.15 Anxiety disorders, especially obsessive-compulsive disorder, could be diagnosed in 5% of cases. Psychotic disorders were reported in 7.5%.15 Included in that series was Bud Powell, who had numerous admissions to mental hospitals and was described as having paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations.
It is difficult to say whether he actually had schizophrenia or a schizoaffective disorder or even a bipolar disorder. The rate of illicit drug-related problems among jazz musicians is of particular interest. In Wills’ sample, 52.5% had heroin addiction at some time during their lives. This rate is much higher than that reported for classical composers by Ludwig and Post, but this could be due to a number of biases in data collection that underestimated substance abuse among classical composers and the flourishing of a number of synthetic compounds of abuse in recent times.12,13
Rock music, heavy metal and suicide
The issue of possible relationships between adolescents’ music preference and aspects of their psychological health and lifestyle has been a matter of concern.
A preliminary investigation on a randomly chosen sample of high school students showed a marked association between a preference for rock/metal music and suicidal thoughts, acts of deliberate self-harm, depression, delinquency, drug taking and family dysfunction.28
The authors suggested that the preference for rock/metal music, particularly in young girls, might be an indicator of vulnerability to suicidal thoughts and actions. These data have been replicated by a US general social survey showing a link between heavy metal fanship and suicide acceptability.29
Subsequently, a number of authors have reported that metal/rock music preference, suicidal rock music lyrics or videos are all associated with suicide and suicidal ideation.30–32
A classic example of such vulnerability is the so-called ‘Werther effect’, following the novel of Goethe, which consists in a duplication or copycat of another suicide that the person attempting suicide knows about either from local knowledge or due to accounts or depictions of the original suicide on television and in other media. The suicide of Kurt Cobain raised immediate concerns among suicidologists, and the public at large, about the potential for his death to spark copycat suicides, especially among vulnerable youth.33,34
It is concluded from the above literature and biographical review that if there is a link between musical composition and psychopathology it is through cyclothymia and bipolar disorder.
However, it is also clear that not all people with bipolar disorder are creative, and neither are all poets or musicians cyclothymics. What is most important to note is that there are no clear biographies of musicians with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
It is of considerable interest that biographical studies of poets reveals the same picture, namely an overrepresentation of bipolar/cyclothymic disorders and little evidence of schizophrenia.4,11 It is possible that the breakdown of communication occasioned by the progression of schizophrenic symptoms is incompatible with creativity, at least for poetry and music. This may seem an unfashionable view, and there are some who may see such disorders as schizophrenia in a more romantic light. However, the biographical evidence does not support such theories. Studies of creative individuals in other areas, such as painting or mathematics or even philosophy, may yield different associations.
From a neurobiological perspective, the association between music and mood disruption would be in keeping with a possible involvement of the right hemisphere since patients with cyclothymia or bipolar disorders are more likely to reveal changes or pathology of the non-dominant hemisphere.35–37 All these data suggest that the non-dominant hemisphere plays the active role in the experience (Erlebnis) of music (and poetry), and in the same way that the dominant hemisphere modulates propositional language, the non-dominant facilitates the former, not so much through providing some sort of ‘creative energy’ as mood accelerates, but by its very properties.
The over-representation of poets and musicians with mood disorders, and the link of mood disorders to the non-dominant hemisphere reveal much about the latter in driving human creativity and social cohesion.
Here is one example of the drummer from REM having a similar complaint.
R.E.M.’s 1995 world tour wasn’t just the band’s first in six years, but the first since the one-time college rockers had become mega-stars on the backs of Out of Time, Automatic for the People and the then most-recent CD, Monster.
Before it was over it would see three of the group’s four members undergo surgery.
The first to become afflicted was drummer Bill Berry. During R.E.M.’s March 1 show at Patinoire de Malley in Lausanne, Switzerland, the percussionist began to feel a throbbing pain in his head. The show was about 90 minutes in when the 36-year-old Berry collapsed with what he, and others, thought was a migraine.
“It felt like a bowling ball hit me in the head,” Berry later recalled to the Los Angeles Times. “There wasn’t any warning. I was just singing the falsetto part on ‘Tongue’ when it happened.”
Berry received medical attention and a trip back to the hotel while Joey Peters, from openers Grant Lee Buffalo, filled in to finish the show before a crowd of 20,000.
Bill just needed some time to rest, and then everything would be OK – or so everyone thought.
“He just felt so bad that night that we took him to the hospital,” guitarist Peter Buck told the Boston Globe. “It wasn’t until the next day they did tests and then immediately scheduled the operation for the day after.”
The tests had revealed that Berry had two aneurysms on the right side of his brain – one that had ruptured and one that hadn’t… yet. A craniotomy happened as soon as possible, the procedure was a success and Bill was soon healing in a Swiss hospital. It was the drummer’s luck that the incident happened in a country with one of the most in-demand brain surgeons in the world.
“People fly from L.A. to have the operation done by this guy,” Buck claimed.
In the meantime, the R.E.M.’s fans and the rest of the rock world were alerted to Berry’s dangerous accident via the media, which were given world in an official statement by the band. Although the group’s tour was postponed, the good news was that Berry was all right.
“Berry is in good hands and good spirits and is expected to make a full and speedy recovery,” the statement read (via the Chicago Tribune). It also confirmed that the drummer’s motor and brain functions had “not been impaired in any way” and that R.E.M.’s tour would proceed in a few weeks.
“The doctors said the fact that Bill was really stubborn was a good sign, because a lot of people have this operation and go into a deep depression,” Buck said. “It’s tough having your head operated on. A lot of people just don’t come back, because it’s the end of the world to them. After the operation, Bill could barely move, but he still said he’d be ready to play in two weeks. We knew there was no way of that happening.”
Yes, recovery took a bit longer. Berry would remain in a Swiss hospital for a month after the procedure, surrounded by bandmates Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe, as well as other members of the R.E.M. entourage, who cheered him on and snuck in donuts.
Buck said that the members never considered keeping the tour going without Berry, although there was considerable pressure from outside of R.E.M.
“Some promoters, insurance people and record company people would have liked us to keep going without him, but that’s not what we do,” the guitarist said. “I’m not going to go out and pretend that everything is cool with a drummer I don’t know. There’s a reason we were successful and that’s because it took the four of us together to do this… So it wasn’t a hard decision.”
Eventually, the R.E.M. guys were able to fly back to their homes in the U.S. Berry continued to recuperate, although he was wary about his recovery as a percussionist.
“I found myself not wanting to go around the drums because I didn’t want to find out there was something wrong,” he said. “So I ended up testing my hands by playing some golf, and everything was fine. I’m 100 percent.”
By May, the band began rehearsing for the tour’s recommencement. The group started anew in May 1995, more than two months after Berry’s accident.
Although the drummer remained in good shape for the rest of the tour, his bandmates weren’t so lucky. Multi-instrumentalist Mills had to undergo surgery for an intestinal tumor (benign, fortunately) in July and frontman Stipe went under the knife for a hernia in August. Buck was the only one who escaped the Monster curse.
While Berry was present for the rest of the tour and R.E.M.’s subsequent album, 1996’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi, he eventually parted ways with his bandmates in 1997. He’s remained retired ever since, only taking the drum stool on a few special occasions. R.E.M. continued as a trio, with significant support, until the rock legends split for good in 2011.
Founding member of Punk Band Social Distortion guitarist Dennis Danell died on February 29, 2000 at 38 due to a brain aneurysm. According to other sources, the Orange County Coroner’s Office lists his death as “Idiopathic Dialated Cardiomyopathy.”
Read More: R.E.M. Drummer Bill Berry Suffers Aneurysm on Stage |