It appears Tedy Bruschi dodged a bullet.
The former New England Patriots linebacker, who now works as an NFL analyst for ESPN, appeared on the latest episode of “The Adam Schefter Podcast” released Monday and explained the stroke he suffered July 4.
Bruschi’s description is rather terrifying, especially when you consider he also suffered a stroke while playing for the Patriots in 2005, but it’s clear the 46-year-old’s quick thinking probably helped him avoid a more serious issue.
“I was trying to set up the equipment bag with me that I had on the ground, and my left arm wasn’t coming up,” Bruschi told ESPN’s Adam Schefter in his first public comments detailing the July 4 stroke. “I couldn’t feel my arm at all, and I lost the use of my left arm. As I was holding my hand and squeezing my fist to try and get feeling back in it again, I realized something was wrong. ‘What’s going on?’ are the exact words that I said, and the words didn’t sound right and I was slurring, and you couldn’t understand what I was saying.
“I turned to my wife and she looked at me as I said ‘What’s going on?’ She couldn’t understand what I was saying and looked at the left side of my face to see that it was drooping. We immediately knew what was happening, I mean I have spent the last 15 years advocating for stroke awareness and warning signs. We knew this was happening again after 14-15 years since my last stroke in 2005, we called 911 right away and an ambulance came to pick me up and take me to the hospital.”
Fortunately, Bruschi is doing well, even recently running the 3 1/2-mile route he ran the day he suffered his second stroke. The three-time Super Bowl champion knows he’s lucky, though, and isn’t taking his recovery for granted.
“This recent stroke is characterized as a TIA, sort of a mini-stroke,” Bruschi said. “The one that I had in 2005 was a little bit bigger, which involved a complete left side sort of deficit all the way down to my foot. Loss of vision was a big thing for me back then, I lost the left field of vision in both my eyes. They were different with different signs, and that stroke wasn’t characterized as a TIA. The symptoms lasted I would say months after that, instead of basically an hour which I had earlier this month.”
Bruschi amazingly played four more seasons with the Patriots after suffering his first stroke on Feb. 16, 2005. Most importantly, he’s been able to live a healthy, normal life despite his pair of medical setbacks, which is a true testament to Bruschi’s fighting spirit.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images