Kumail Nanjiani Shares Story Of Learning Of Wife Emily V. Gordon’s Illness

by Cassandra Stone
Image via Twitter/Kumail Nanjiani

Gordon and Nanjiani co-wrote The Big Sick, a movie about her chronic illness

If you’re familiar with the critically-acclaimed movie The Big Sick, then you probably know it’s based on the real-life relationship between actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani and writer Emily V. Gordon — and Gordon’s struggle with a rare, life-threatening illness.

Nanjiani recently shared some emotional tweets about the experience, prompted by finding a memento of Gordon’s initial hospital stay. Go ahead and grab yourself a tissue, we’ll wait.

Nanjiani played the role of himself in The Big Sick, which documents the early days of his relationship with Gordon as she’s diagnosed with adult-onset Still’s disease, an extremely rare form of arthritis that can shut down the body’s vital organs and lead to death.

Anyone who’s experienced personal trauma can relate to this incredibly earnest, spot-on tweet. You’re trapped in your own bubble of god-awful grief and feel outraged by everyone who is seemingly very happily going about their life.

Ugh. So heartbreaking.

Just eight months into dating, Gordon became incredibly sick and was placed in a medically-induced coma. The Big Sick shows Nanjiani and Gordon’s parents as they struggle to cope with doctors, an unknown diagnosis, and cultural challenges between Nanjiani, who is Pakistani, and Gordon’s American family. At one point, Gordon’s organs began shutting down.

No one should feel shame about circumstances beyond their control, especially surrounding their health. The fact that Gordon shared her story in The Big Sick is so valuable to anyone struggling with illness themselves, or those struggling to understand and cope with a sick loved one.

Nanjiani’s Twitter thread seemed to resonate with many.

Nanjiani ended his thread with an important lesson, no doubt one we could all benefit from being reminded of in terms of chronic illness and the lives and families it touches.