After a tumultuous four months of hospitalizations, “American Idol” fan-favorite Casey Abrams says doctors saved his life after being rushed back to the hospital for emergency surgery. The talented jazz bassist and singer, who placed sixth during season 10 of “Idol,” is slowly recovering but still has more surgeries ahead. Here’s what you need to know…
Casey Abrams Updates Fans From Hospital Bed
Abrams updated fans on social media with a video from his hospital bed on November 23, 2022, revealing that his longtime battle with ulcerative colitis was over — but only because he had to have his entire colon removed due to uncontrollable bleeding.
“I went to the hospital 4 times and on my 4th visit, I was bleeding so much that I had to have an emergency surgery to save my life,” Abrams captioned his social media post.
He continued, “It’s been a month since the surgery and I am recovering nicely. I’ve had to cancel all my gigs for the rest of the year and I still have a surgery or 2 to go. I will keep you updated but as of now, I’m starting to sing, make music and play my bass again.”
Abrams also expressed gratitude to the staff at Providence St. Joseph hospital, his parents, and “everyone who’s reached out” over the past three months.
In his video, Abrams can be seen in his hospital bed, saying, “Hey, what’s up, I just got my colon out and I miss the upright bass, but this’ll do.” He then plays a quick riff on an acoustic guitar, holding it like it’s a bass.
Fans and famous friends have flooded Abrams’ post with well-wishes, including singer Lisa Loeb, comedian Bill Burr, and his longtime friend and “Idol” comrade Hailey Reinhart.
Reinhart wrote, “Trooper is an understatement my dear friend… you have been a warrior! So thankful to see you on the mend…Sending healing energies your way, always Case!”
James Durbin, who came in fourth place on the same season of “Idol” with Abrams and Reinhart, wrote, “We love you so much Casey. Glad you got the care you needed in time and that you’re doing better. We miss you”
Casey Abrams Has Been a Vocal Advocate for Those Suffering From Ulcerative Colitis
This is not the first time Abrams has opened up about his struggles with ulcerative colitis. In fact, he’s been a vocal advocate for those suffering from the disease since his journey on “American Idol.”
In 2011, he first opened up about his condition after he missed one of the live elimination shows on “Idol” due to his need for two blood transfusions.
According to the Chrohn’s & Colitis Foundation, “Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the large intestine, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores, or ulcers.”
The condition is a result of the immune system’s overactive response, but many patients shy away from talking about it because symptoms can feel embarrassing to discuss, including urgent bowel movements, bloody stool, abdominal pain and blood in the stool which can lead to weight loss, anemia and other side effects that impact a person’s quality of life.
In August 2011, following his journey on “Idol,” Abrams talked with the L.A. Times about his condition and why patients often avoid talking about it.
“It’s really not talked about that much because you’re going to the bathroom 10 to 14 times a day during a flare-up and there’s blood and it’s kind of embarrassing,” he said. “But if you have it, you have to talk about it, you have to see a doctor. When I was in college I had symptoms for two to three weeks–I was weak, and I couldn’t walk across campus without getting winded. I thought it was a bug–I had stomach cramps, I was getting more pale and I was losing lots of blood.”
He continued, “When you have UC or Crohn’s disease, you don’t want it to define you as a person. I wanted [the show] to be all about the music. And I think it was. I don’t think this is defining me as a person. I think it’s a part of me, a little obstacle I have to hurdle over every day, and I think that’s the way you have to look at it.”
When medication, dietary modifications, and nutritional supplementation don’t curb symptoms, surgery is needed in severe cases like Abrams’. Uncontrollable bleeding can lead to the need for colectomy, which is the removal of the entire colon, according to the Mayo Clinic, and typically requires additional surgeries to reattach the remaining portions of a patient’s digestive system so that waste can leave the body.
Before his latest hospitalization, Abrams released a cover of “Hooked on a Feeling” with Eva and the Vagabond Tales, available on all major music platforms.