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Former UF QB Danny Wuerffel hospitalized with rare nervous system disorder

Just a couple of months ago, Danny Wuerffel was one of three Heisman winners produced by the University of Florida to be honored with the unveiling of statues during UF’s spring game.

Unfortunately, it appears that the former Gator quarterback’s health has taken an unexpected turn for the worse.

While the details are scant, the Gainesville Sun is confirming message board murmurs that surfaced earlier Wednesday that Wuerffel has been hospitalized and is currently undergoing treatment for Guillain-Barré syndrome. WebMD describes the syndrome as follows:

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is a rare, rapidly progressive disorder that consists of inflammation of the nerves (polyneuritis) and, usually causing muscle weakness, sometimes progressing to complete paralysis. Although the precise cause of GBS is unknown, a viral or respiratory infection precedes the onset of the syndrome in about half of the cases. This has led to the theory that GBS may be an autoimmune disease (caused by the body’s own immune system). Damage to the covering of nerve cells (myelin) and nerve axons (the extension of the nerve cell that conducts impulses away from the nerve cell body) results in delayed nerve signal transmission. There is a corresponding weakness in the muscles that are supplied by the damaged nerves.

The medical website also writes that, while GBS “can cause paralysis and lead to death. ... most people get better and have few lasting problems.”

It should go without saying that we’re wishing nothing but the latter for Wuerffel, and that this is merely a hiccup in his post-football life.

The 37-year-old Wuerffel played for the Gators from 1993-1996, setting numerous school passing records under then-head coach Steve Spurrier. UF won SEC titles in each of his four years at the school, and Wuerffel was awarded the 1996 Heisman Trophy as a senior.

Again, thoughts and prayers go out to Wuerffel and his family during this time.