Thanksgiving was an “emotional and hard day” for jazz bassist and singer Casey Abrams, who placed sixth on season 10 of “American Idol.” Abrams updated fans with Instagram videos from his hospital bed beginning on November 22, 2023, after his latest surgery to address issues stemming from his years-long battle with ulcerative colitis.
Abrams has been open about his struggles with the debilitating condition since his journey on “American Idol” in 2011, when a flare-up landed him in the hospital and caused him to miss one of the live elimination shows as he received two blood transfusions.
After years of successfully managing the disease with medication and diet modifications, Abrams suffered many setbacks since the fall of 2022, including life-saving emergency surgery in November and a complicated reconstructive surgery in June 2023.
Though recovery from his latest surgery is proving to be “very painful,” he told followers that he is determined to “fight through this” and get back to what he loves most: playing music.
Casey Abrams Says He’s Hopeful Latest Surgery Will Allow Him to Play Music With Greater Ease
Abrams began experiencing medical complications in September 2022, when he was hospitalized for over a week. Though he felt better after doctors got his symptoms under control, he was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery that November. In an Instagram video from his hospital bed, he said his longtime battle with ulcerative colitis was over because he had to have his entire colon removed due to uncontrollable bleeding.
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.”
After Abrams healed from his emergency surgery, he was cleared in June for the second phase of reconstruction, an operation known as “J-pouch surgery,” according to Mayo Clinic, during which surgeons build a J-shaped pouch to keep the patient from needing “a permanent opening in the abdomen (stoma) for passing bowel movements.”
In an Instagram post from his hospital bed following the 10-hour operation, Abrams wrote that he had one more surgery to go. That surgery happened this week, he explained in his November 22 Instagram post.
“Now bass playing is gonna be a lot easier because I just got my stoma reversed and now I have a J-pouch and no ostomy bag,” he said. “Very exciting, a little painful, but I’m excited to get back out there and start playing gigs and making music and rock climb and run and do back flips. I’m really excited.”
The next day, which was Thanksgiving, Abrams posted another video from the hospital and revealed it had been a much tougher day.
“It’s day two and it’s a very painful day today,” he said. “I took some good meds and got my wound stuffed, so I’m feeling a little bit better, but it was an emotional and hard day today, and I’m glad I made it through. It’s only gonna be up and up from here. So, thanks for everything.”
In the caption of his video, he wrote, “No matter what obstacles are in the way, I will fight through this. Love you all, stay positive ❤️🙏”
Casey Abrams Looks Forward to Holidays Amid Release of New Music With Fellow ‘Idol’ Alum
In his Instagram video on November 22, Abrams told fans, “I’m gonna be in the hospital for a couple more days and enjoy family time for the holidays and then early next year I’ll be ready to jam. Thank you so much for everything that you’ve done for me. It means the world and I’m able to thrive and live, most importantly. So thank you. Love you.”
A GoFundMe campaign started in 2022 has raised over $113,000 to help with Abrams’ medical bills.
Before entering the hospital, Abrams uploaded multiple videos of he and fellow “American Idol” season 10 alum Stefano Langone, who took seventh place just behind Abrams. The videos feature them harmonizing on songs in a kitchen with Abrams playing his bass while Stefano, who dropped his last name for his musical career, sings along while he cooks.
The longtime friends released an EP on November 17 called “The Kitchen Chronicles, Vol. 1” that features six covers — each only about a minute long — including one of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You.”