Hockey great Howe latest setback not a stroke
NHL legend Gordie Howe did not have another stroke on Monday as earlier reported but instead was suffering from dehydration, his family said in a statement released Wednesday by the Detroit Red Wings.
The 86-year-old Howe appeared to have suffered a severe stroke as caregivers and physical therapists attended to him for 30 minutes. But after he was hospitalized in Lubbock, Texas, where he is staying with daughter Cathy Purnell, it was determined after undergoing tests that he did not have a second major stroke.
"He is having difficulty eating solid foods at this time, has slurred speech and has been unable to walk for more than three weeks now," Howe's family said in the statement. "All of these factors are contributing to his overall decline in health. His mental awareness has improved enough in the past 24 hours to where we expect him to be out of the hospital and in his own bed at home before the night is over."
Howe had a series of mini-strokes starting in the summer and a more severe stroke on Oct. 26, but he had since regained some movement on his right side before the latest setback. Howe also suffers from dementia.
The former Detroit Red Wings star is one of hockey's most beloved figures. In 26 NHL seasons, Howe played in a record 1,767 games and is second in career goals with 801, ninth in assists with 1,049 and third in points with 1,850 in NHL history.
Howe retired at age 51 in 1980 after one season with the Hartford Whalers, eight years after he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.