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The Daily Dish Southern Charm

Patricia Altschul Opens Up About Learning of Michael Kelcourse’s Health: “I’m Still Shocked”

In the Season 8 premiere of Southern Charm, Patricia reflected on her friendship with Michael Kelcourse.

By Jocelyn Vena
Patricia Altschul Michael Stroke Butler 03

When Season 8 of Southern Charm premiered on June 23, viewers got the chance to catch up with the members of the Charleston crew and find out where they were in their lives since we last saw them. And in one of the more poignant moments of the episode, we learned more details about Patricia Altschul’s longtime right-hand man, Michael Kelcourse, and his health journey. Fans will recall that Michael suffered an acute spinal cord infarction, also known as a spinal cord stroke, in February 2021.

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In the Season 8 premiere, Patricia elaborated more on his condition. “Michael had what is known as a spinal stroke, so he is paralyzed from the chest down, which kind of struck me in the heart,” she said in the premiere episode. Following the spinal cord stroke, Michael, who is affectionately known as Michael the Butler by Southern Charm fans, now lives in Florida at an assisted care facility near his family.

In Thursday’s episode, Patricia noted how hard it’s been not having Michael around given how long they’ve known each other. “I’m still shocked by the whole thing, because he had been with us for 18 years,” she said. “My longest marriage lasted 15 years, so Michael is the most stable relationship I’ve ever had.”

In the episode, Patricia’s son, Whitney Sudler-Smith, was at home assisting her with various tasks like helping to care for her many dogs, something Michael would have done before.

In fact, Michael recently reflected on his tenure working for Patricia in an Instagram post, sharing a photo of a gorgeous home where he once worked for the Southern Charm matriarch. “Mrs. Altschul’s home on Centre Island where I first started working for her,” he wrote, adding in the comments, “Mario Buatta introduced me to Mrs. Altschul and Whitney [on] Thanksgiving 2003 when I gave him a ride after Cynthia Phipps’ dinner and no taxi was available.”

He added about spending nearly two decades with Patricia: “I had a job I loved and a wonderful lady to work for. Her [son] kept us laughing. He has [an] amazing sense of humor.”

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