Gordie Howe’s health rebounds after ‘very bad summer’
Former Detroit Red Wings player Gordie Howe signs autographs for fans in celebration of his 85th birthday before the start of the Red Wing's NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Detroit, Michigan March 31, 2013. (REUTERS/ Rebecca Cook)
After a summer of uncertainty and fearing for the worst, Gordie Howe’s health has rebounded.
The 86-year-old hockey legend suffers from dementia. His conditioned worsened in August and he required outpatient surgery to help with spinal stenosis – an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal – which caused debilitating pain.
“He had a very bad summer,” son Mark Howe told USA Today. “Weekly, I would send updates to my brothers and sister and my dad's friends, let them know.
“It was pretty discouraging, pretty disheartening. If the surgery didn’t help, and he didn’t respond to it, then ... it wasn’t good. There wasn’t anything good going to come out of it.”
Gordie has made progress, enough that he’s walking again.
“He was in a swimming pool three days ago,” Mark said. “I talked to him about a week ago, and he’s got his sense of humour back, his personality back. So I’m pretty encouraged by that.”
Although the pain is gone, Mark understands things will eventually get worse. His father had a seizure 10 days ago and “he’s had little mini strokes,” Mark said.
“Things are progressively getting worse for him, but I can live with that, that's part of life.”