The Archdiocese of Sydney released the following statement to the media on 4 January:
Shortly before Christmas Archbishop Anthony Fisher contracted a gastrointestinal infection which was subsequently complicated by an immune-related pathology.
This was later diagnosed as Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Symptoms of this syndrome include varying degrees of muscle weakness, and while its onset is sudden and unexpected, the great majority of people make a full recovery.
Archbishop Anthony has responded extremely well to treatment at St Vincent’s Hospital and expects to move shortly out of intensive care.
He will then begin several weeks of rehabilitation and physiotherapy initially at the hospital. He is extremely grateful for the superb care he has received at St Vincent’s.
The Archbishop warmly appreciates the generous and thoughtful prayers and messages of support he has received at this time.
He is grateful for the understanding and patience of the priests and people of the Archdiocese as he focuses on his recovery and has sent his prayers and good wishes for a Happy New Year to all.
In the meantime Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady, Vicar General Very Rev Gerry Gleeson, Chancellor Chris Meney and Business Manager Michael Digges will continue with the pastoral care and management of the Archdiocese during the Archbishop’s period of recovery until his return.