Joey Jordison says he is stronger than he ever has been in his life having beaten acute transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord which damages nerve fibres.
In the space of three weeks the ex-Slipknot drummer, currently playing with Vimic and Sinsaenum, went from flu symptoms to being unable to walk and paralysis from the waist down.
But now Jordison says following extensive physical therapy and continued gym sessions he is in the best shape of his life.
Speaking to Neomedia Group he said: “What happened was toward the end of my Slipknot touring cycle, I became very ill — like, very sick. And like I've said before, we all know when you have a cold, we all know when you have the flu, we all know these symptoms. I suffered from asthma when I was a kid.
“There was a pain and a weirdness that I'd never felt before. And next thing I know, my legs just started failing on me. And next thing I know, my playing was going downhill, and then next thing I know, I was unable to walk. And then next thing I know, I was paralysed from the waist down. It literally happened within the span of, like, three weeks. So I instantly, of course, checked myself into the hospital and went into intensive care.
“I had amazing, amazing doctors that really were working around the clock to find out what was wrong. It turned out to be the acute transverse myelitis condition. And from then, what I did is I spent some time in the hospital, like a couple of months and started working with therapists. And next thing after that, once I got discharged from the hospital, I went into intense physical therapy. And I still stay in it. Now, even though I'm fully recovered — I'm literally stronger than I've ever been in my life — I just still stay on that regiment, man.
“I'm just in the gym constantly and I just work out non-stop. And I play more than I ever have, especially with the two bands, but I just practice non-stop. And I just go to the gym and eat healthy and get plenty of rest and that's all I do. But I was really lucky — really, really, really fortunate — to beat this.”
Describing his love for drums as being 'like breathing' and how he communicates, being unable to play was very difficult for Jordison.
“Oh my God, man. That's what I do,” he continued.
“Playing drums for me is like breathing, it's like thinking, it's like eating, it's like walking. Playing drums is how I communicate. It's how I speak to people.
“That's my God-given gift. And when it was robbed from me with this weird-ass thing that came out of nowhere, the fact of my love of music and life in general, I just fought my way back and went, 'There's no way I'm not gonna play drums and make music again.' And that really showed me — more than just playing drums or playing guitar and creating music or writing songs; any of that — my love and determination for life and family and music, and what this music's given me, I had to fight back to get it back and give back to it to show my appreciation for it.
“So that's basically how my determination, how I was able to get back with this. The faith and the heart, and [with] full force. I have no symptoms, I'm fully back. I'm totally alright. It was a lot work getting there, man.”