Written by: Alex Green
News quickly circulated today that the legendary singer Joni Mitchell had fallen into a coma.
Mitchell was reportedly deemed medically unresponsive and as a result, Leslie Morris, her friend of nearly fifty years, was to be appointed a conservatorship role over her estate.
It was all a bit grim, but Mitchell’s camp has since spoken out and cleared up any erroneous reporting about her condition.
Here’s what we now know:
1. Joni Mitchell is NOT in a coma.
Although word spread quickly that Mitchell was incapacitated and, as many inferred from these reports, not likely to regain consciousness, the singer’s official website posted the following late this afternoon: “Contrary to rumors circulating on the Internet today, Joni is not in a coma. Joni is still in the hospital — but she comprehends, she’s alert, and she has her full senses. A full recovery is expected.”
2. All of Mitchell’s financial decisions will be executed by Morris.
Kind of true, and kind of not true. Mitchell’s site explained Morris’ role in the following statement:
“The document obtained by a certain media outlet simply gives her longtime friend Leslie Morris the authority — in the absence of 24-hour doctor care — to make care decisions for Joni once she leaves the hospital. As we all know, Joni is a strong-willed woman and is nowhere near giving up the fight. Please continue to keep Joni in your thoughts.”
3. Mitchell will not be able to attend court hearings or make public appearances of any kind for 4-6 months.
True. Doctors believe that Mitchell will need at least half a year to regain her strength before she can answer any court-based questions regarding her estate. Mitchell is believed to have no living heirs–she gave up her daughter for adoption many decades ago and whether or not she is a part of Mitchell’s estate is not known–so these decisions are not only important, but will be useful to have in place for the future.
4. The #weloveyoujoni hashtag is still being encouraged by Mitchell’s team to bolster morale and encourage the singer to get better.
True. Tweet away, friends.
Although it’s not clear what’s ailing Mitchell, she has been very candid about her ongoing battle with Morgellons Syndrome. Of the disease, she told the LA Times several years ago: “I have this weird, incurable disease that seems like it’s from outer space…”
This allusion was undoubtedly a reference to the fact that Morgellons Syndrome is not a medically recognized disease and can be phantom in its presentation. Some sufferers have difficulty with their motor skills, while others have other neurological ailments. A common belief of those who have the disease is that they are being infected by parasites or other contagions from within their bodies. The disease is also commonly self-diagnosed.
Her last live performance was on the occasion of her 70th birthday at the 2013 Luminato Festival in Toronto. Taking place at Massey Hall, Mitchell, along with Rufus Wainwright and Herbie Hancock played sets of her material.