Joni Mitchell still struggling to walk, five years after brain aneurysm

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·2 min read
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 10: Joni Mitchel attends the Jazz Foundation honors Joni Mitchell And Wayne Shorter at Vibrato  on November 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
Joni Mitchel is still learning to walk again. (Getty Images)

Joni Mitchell has revealed she is still struggling to walk, five years after suffering a brain aneurysm.

The 76-year-old Big Yellow Taxi singer - who contracted polio as a child - has revealed she lost her speech and her ability to walk following the aneurysm in 2015 and still working to regain her full health.

Mitchell told The Guardian: “You know what? I came back from polio, so here I am again, and struggling back. Just inching my way along. I’m showing slow improvement but moving forward.”

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She added: “Once again I couldn’t walk. I had to learn how again. I couldn’t talk. Polio didn’t grab me like that, but the aneurysm took away a lot more, really. Took away my speech and my ability to walk. And, you know, I got my speech back quickly, but the walking I’m still struggling with. But I mean, I’m a fighter. I’ve got Irish blood! [long laugh] So you know, I knew, ‘Here I go again, another battle.’”

Watch: Africa celebrates the eradication of wild polio

And the Both Sides Now singer admitted that due to her ill health she had not been able to write any new music.

She said: “I haven’t been writing recently. I haven’t been playing my guitar or the piano or anything. No, I’m just concentrating on getting my health back.”

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BOSTON, MA- DECEMBER 1976:  Joni Mitchell performs at The Boston Music Hall December 19, 1976 in Boston MA.  (Photo by Ron Pownall/Getty Images)
Joni Mitchell performing in 1976. (Getty Images)

The Canadian musician contracted the polio virus, which can affect the nervous system, aged nine.

She has also said that she has Morgellons syndrome - a skin condition causing fibrous sores - and in 2010 announced she was retiring from the music industry.

Mitchell has been undergoing daily physical therapy since her aneurysm in in 20015 and made her first public appearance in 2016, attending a concert in Los Angeles in August 2016.

Watch: Joni Mitchell to release early archive recordings