Fans of Southern Charm know that there has always been one unofficial cast member: Michael Kelcourse. Kelcourse has been Southern Charm matriarch Patricia Altschul’s longtime butler. Kelcourse has worked for Altschul for 17 years, and he had become part of the Southern Charm family. Sad news hit the Bravo world in February when Altschul’s son, Whitney Sudler-Smith, announced that Kelcourse suffered a spinal cord stroke.
Unfortunately, it looks like Kelcourse has taken a poor turn and has become paraplegic. Luzanne Otte, an administrator for Kelcourse’s CaringBridge page and Thomas Ravenel’s ex-girlfriend shared the life altering update February 23.
“When an otherwise healthy loved one becomes paraplegic over night, we may not know what to say but we know what to do: be at their side,” she wrote. “The pandemic has robbed us of that form of support. Since those dearest to Michael are not permitted to be physically present, we are hoping for a windfall of well-wishes from the public to support a lengthy journey. Michael’s support team recognizes the magic in a stranger’s kindness and healing power in their prayers.”
“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,’” Sudler-Smith revealed to Bravo’s The Daily Dish. “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.”
Kelcourse is seeking treatment at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. While recovering, he has been enjoying the pet therapy program there with six Labrador retrievers. “As Michael’s navigating a new world, we appreciate your understanding of our judicious approach to the substance of journal entries for the time being,” Otte wrote in the newest update posted Wednesday, March 3.
Kelcourse Has Become Part of Altschul’s Family
Since Southern Charm premiered in 2014, Kelcourse has helped Altschul with every party and every guest. Southern Charm fans even consider him an honorary cast member. From serving his famous martinis to sanitizing all her packages to keeping the Southern Charm men drinking, Kelcourse has done it all.
Altschul has not been shy about her love and admiration for her dear butler. She and her son gushed about Kelcourse, calling him the “nicest” guy in the world, in a 2018 interview with the Daily Dish. “Michael, he’s devoted to mom,” Sulder-Smith said at the time. “He’s the nicest guy in the world. He’s invaluable to my mom because he helps with her coterie of animals.”
Sudler-Smith continued, telling Bravo, “He knows everything. He knows history of how to serve [like] the correct silverware, [as well as] decor [and] decoration. He’s a master of this lost art. There are butler schools and academies and this and that, but he can teach these academies. He’s a master, essentially.”
Altschul Recently Gave Fans an Insight Into Kelcourse’s Life
Altschul posted a photo, as seen above, of an all-brick cottage and described his living quarters. “People are curious about #michaelthebutler … he lives in this cottage on the property which was built in the late 1700’s. It was remodeled and has a bedroom and bath..living room, dining area with a fireplace and a chef’s kitchen. We also added new heat and air conditioning.”
She added, “He has worked for me for 17 years and is in charge of the household staff. Michael trained in Europe as a professional butler however we consider him to be a member of the family… #southerncharm”