Joni Mitchell Says Childhood Fight With Polio Prepared Her For Aneurysm

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

December 6, 2021

Photo: Getty Images North America

Although her health has been a major concern in the years since her 2015 brain aneurysm, Joni Mitchell has no complaints as she fights each day to get better.

Speaking Sunday in Washington D.C. as she accepted her Kennedy Center honor, Mitchell likened her aneurysm recovery to that of her childhood battle with polio.

"I always think that polio was a rehearsal for the rest of my life," she said during her brief remarks. "I've had to come back several times from things. And this last one was a real whopper. But, you know, I'm hobbling along but I'm doing all right."

Surviving the aneurysm left the singer-songwriter icon with a host of new challenges — she had to relearn how to speak and how to walk.

While her speech returned somewhat quickly, Mitchell has continued to struggle with her mobility. She says she looks at it as yet another battle to win.

Mitchell's fellow 2021 Kennedy Center honorees included Motown records founder Berry Gordy, singer/actress Bette Midler, singer Justino Diaz and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels.

The 44th annual Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast on December 22 on CBS.

Joni Mitchell
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