Kris Kristofferson’s misdiagnosis almost cost him his life

He is an entertainment icon with hundreds of screen credits including A Star is Born and Heaven’s Gate and seventeen

He is an entertainment icon with hundreds of screen credits including A Star is Born and Heaven’s Gate and seventeen country music albums, but Kris Kristofferson’s biggest accolade might be surviving a dangerous misdiagnosis.

Kris told Fox News in 2011 “I wish my memory weren’t so bad. They tell me it’s from all the football and boxing and the concussions that I got. A couple of years ago my memory just started going. I can remember my songs so I can perform, but other than that….” In 2013, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease but recently he got a new lease on life as additional test revealed that he was suffering the side effects of Lyme disease.

Kris’ wife Lisa told the Huffington Post about his recovery “We were driving back from his sixth HBOT treatment, and he looks over at me and says, ‘Wow, I feel like I’m back.’ And I looked right in his eyes, and I said, ‘OH MY GOD, HE’S BACK! It was like, WHOA!”

Even through it all he never stopped performing. While some memories would leave, he could always remember his songs. Lisa stated that “music is deeply embedded in the brain”. Kris also never gave up acting with some current films to his credit they were at one point giving him his line via a teleprompter. Working through such adversity made Lisa beam “He is such a soldier. He never gives up”.

According to the Lyme Disease Association of Australia, the initial symptoms of Acute Lyme Disease are “Flu-like symptoms such as a headache, fever, soreness muscle & unexplained fatigue.” If someone is suffering from Chronic Lyme disease, the symptoms are so varied that they are broken into eleven different body categories. They can be viewed by following this link.

While Kris is on the road to recovery, Lisa and he can make jokes about the situation. Lisa said, “We laugh at him and with him and we make the best of it because Lyme is so tragic that if you don’t have something to counterbalance the sadness of that, it’ll take you down”. She concluded “Being on the road, the laughter, the music. It’s great medicine. And I understand that when you have Lyme disease, your quality of life will vary with each different person. You have to just do the best you can.”

Have you or someone you know had Lyme disease? What is your favorite Kristofferson song or film?



  1. Rose  

    Yes… I know two people living with Lyme Disease. They are troopers.. : ) And yes the symptoms can be so varied….always get a second opinion if you’re not satisfied with the first diagnosis.

    • Roxy  

      Did they get Lyme disease in Australia or overseas?

  2. Anne Gray  

    Too many favourites to mention. Darby’s Castle, Casey’s Last Ride, Jesus was a Capricorn. Would love to see him perform in Australia. Anne

  3. Michael Wilson  

    There is no such condition as chronic Lyme disease. Acute, sure, but there is no evidence of any long term conditions. Ot’s a complex situation, but any goid journalist would dig a bit deeper and know that long term Lyme disease dors not exist.

  4. susan  

    Sorry Micheal you dont know what your talking about,and you cant Daughter was bitten by a tic 7 years ago in Napal and is still so very sick today she has just spent the past 6 mths in India having treatment for all the underlying issues caused by the Lyme disease,and is still so very ill.She went to India because there is no treatment for Lymes here in Australia.

    • Robyn  

      Susan, I agree with you completely, except to say there is treatment in Australia. I was bitten by a tick when I was 17 and had all sorts of problems in the years following, until I was diagnosed and had 12 months treatment of strong antibiotics for the bacteria nearly 40 years later. All symptoms, some severe at times, disappeared thanks to Dr Richard Schloffel at Gordon, Sydney, NSW.

      • Linda  

        Wow good news for you.
        Last I read, before now, was that Australian Medical Professionals were reluctant to even admit that Lyme disease even existed in Australia 😡

    • Jonathan  

      ‘Tic’ would be ‘tick’……..
      ‘Napal’ would be ‘Nepal’…..
      ‘Micheal’ would be ‘Michael’……

      You can’t spell either………

  5. Elisabeth  

    After a show about four years ago our daughter was able to meet Kris Kristofferson…she has been a big fan for years. He invited us on his bus and could not have been a nicer man. We didn’t stay long…didn’t want to wear out our welcome…but he never made us feel rushed and was so kind and generous with his time. Here’s wishing you and your family the best, Kris!!!

  6. Rosemarie Foschia  

    I was watching the Highwamen on PBS and decieded to look up Kris! Totally shocked to hear this news! His story needs shared., I am sure it will help others! I wish him a speedy recovery. God Bless him and his family.

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