Patricia Altschul’s Butler Michael Kelcourse Since His Stroke

Michael Kelcourse and Patricia Altschul

YouTube/Bravo Michael Kelcourse and Patricia Altschul

Patricia Altschul’s longtime butler Michael Kelcourse, beloved by “Southern Charm” fans, suffered from an acute spinal cord infarction last year and her son Whitney Sudler-Smith broke the news to Bravo’s The Daily Dish on February 23, 2021. The upcoming 8th season of “Southern Charm” will be without Michael the Butler; however, fans will be happy to know that Kelcourse is doing well and currently living in an assisted care facility in Florida.

In February 2021, Sudler-Smith told Bravo in a statement, “I am sorry to inform you that Michael Kelcourse, affectionately known as ‘Michael The Butler’, recently suffered an acute spinal cord infarction which is often called a ‘spinal cord stroke.'” He added:

Although this tragedy has caused significant nerve damage and impairment, with the help of the outstanding physicians at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, we are hopeful Michael will soon recover. Thank you for respecting Michael’s privacy during this challenging time.

According to the U.K.’s Brain and Spine Foundation, a spinal stroke “is a disruption in the blood supply to the spinal cord… A disruption in the blood supply can cause injury or damage to tissues and can block messages (nerve impulses) travelling along the spinal cord.” It states that the majority of spinal strokes are “caused by blockages (usually blood clots) in the blood supply” and are a rare condition, accounting for 1.25% of all strokes.

Since his stroke, Kelcourse has undergone a physical therapy program and Altschul shared on Instagram in March 2022, “Michael is now ensconced in his beautiful new assisted care facility… with great food, great decor, great nurses and great services all around… but most important, he is in close proximity to his family … I know some of you would like to communicate with Michael, so here is his new address… he might even welcome a visit. Whitney and I are going to drive down this summer.”

Kelcourse has also posted about his “home in Sarasota” on Instagram. He shared that he has been receiving cards from well-wishers and described them as “a welcome sight.” Here is Altschul’s post:

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Altschul Has Shared Several Updates About Kelcourse’s Rehabilitation Process on Instagram

Altschul has posted many updates about Kelcourse since Sudler-Smith first shared the news of his stroke. She revealed in November 2021 that Kelcourse was at a “specialized physical therapy program at the Shepard Center in Atlanta… famed for success in spinal rehabilitation.” She wrote, “We all miss you and are continually impressed by your dedication to overcome this hardship #michaelthebutler #shepardcenter #atlanta.”

Kelcourse posted in August 2021 that he’d just graduated from the Shepherd Spinal Center “boot camp” and in October 2021 posted about the beyond therapy staff at that center.

In February 2022, Altschul wrote that Kelcourse was heading to a “new life” at the assisted living facility in Florida and pointed out that he’d be closer to his family. On May 28, she posted, “Michael is out today lunching at his favorite seafood restaurant in Sarasota, Florida. Besides living in a beautiful assisted living residence .. he is near to his family as well. Follow Michael at @michaelkelcourse and send him a cheerful message doesn’t he look great!!!”

Kelcourse replied, “Living the Florida dream.” He also shared on his own Instagram that Altschul had sent him a beautiful flower. In one response to a fan asking him if he needed anything, he wrote, “Mrs. Altschul has provided me with everything I need.”


Kelcourse & Altschul Have Both Opened Up About Their Longtime Working Relationship

“Southern Charm” fans have fallen in love with Altschul’s butler over the seasons and both the Charleston grand dame and her butler have opened up in the past about their 17-year work relationship. In her memoir “The Art of Southern Charm,” Altschul wrote that hiring Kelcourse was the “best thing I could have done,” Bravo reported. She also told Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live” in 2019, “we respect and admire each other.”

Sudler-Smith also heaped high praise on his mother’s butler, who’s well known to “Southern Charm” fans for his great conversation, positive outlook, and amazing cocktail-making. “Michael, he’s devoted to mom,” Sudler-Smith shared with Bravo in 2018. “He’s the nicest guy in the world. He’s invaluable to my mom because he helps with her coterie of animals.”

As for Kelcourse, he’s posted several photos and comments on Instagram reminiscing about his time working for Altschul, including one comment in which he wrote she was, “the finest lady I ever met.” He added, “17 years taking care of the family and I loved every minute.”

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