Former NFL sports star and threefold Super Bowl winner Tedy Bruschi suffered a mini-stroke on July 4 and is recovering now in Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Tedy’s Team, the charity that he founded for raising awareness in fighting strokes, issued a statement on Twitter on Friday, which read:
“Yesterday afternoon, Tedy had a stroke, known as a TIA [transient ischemic attack]. He recognized his warning signs immediately: arm weakness, face drooping and speech difficulties. Tedy is recovering well and would like to thank the nurses, doctors, and staff at Sturdy Memorial Hospital for all they have done. Tedy and his family thank you for your ongoing encouragement, and kindly ask for privacy at this time.”
Tedy’s Team has issued the following statement on behalf of the Bruschi family. pic.twitter.com/CuwmHobvl3
— Tedy’s Team (@TedysTeam) July 5, 2019
Bruschi, now 46, first suffered a stroke in February 2005 at the age of 31, just weeks after he had won his third Superbowl as a linebacker with the New England Patriots.
Medical examination revealed that he suffers an innate heart defect called patent foramen ovale (PFO), which means he has a tiny hole in his heart that should have closed after birth, but didn’t. There is a causal relationship between having PFO and the risk of having a stroke later in life.
The American Heart Association says that PFO is prevalent in about 25 percent of the general population, and in about 40 to 50 percent of patients who suffered a stroke of unknown cause.
Bruschi wrote a first-hand account of the events for Men’sHealth magazine in June 2014: “A blood clot had formed in my body, and it found a sort of a shortcut through my heart defect to my brain. That caused an ischemic stroke, which is a blockage of blood to the brain.”
He underwent surgery to have it repaired and planned to retire, but within a year was back on the pitch. He made his comeback for the Patriots in the seventh game of the 2005 competition.
Bruschi would play yet another three seasons with the Patriots, before retiring in 2008 then working for ESPN as an NFL analyst since 2009.
Bruschi was slated to be promoted to the panel of ESPN’s prime football show “Sunday NFL Countdown,” this fall, ESPN announced in March.
Bruschi and his wife Heidi created Tedy’s Team, a foundation to “fight against stroke and heart disease and [that] honors both the survivors and the loved ones lost to the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 leading causes of death and No. 1 leading cause of disability,” and have raised more than $5 million to support the American Stroke Association, according to the Tedy’s Team website.
8 Warning Signs That a Stroke Is Coming On
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, claiming approximately 140,000 lives every year.
It is important that you know these eight early signs of a stroke. In most cases, the first three are the most obvious signs and part of four-letter acronym F.A.S.T., warning signs recommended by the American Stroke Association to spot and know when to call 911.
1. Face Drooping
2. Arm Weakness on One Side of the Body
3. Speech Difficulty
4. Trouble with Seeing in One or Both Eyes
5. Sudden Trouble Walking, Dizziness, Loss of Balance, or Coordination
6. Sudden Severe Headache with No Known Cause.
7. Sudden Confusion or Trouble Understanding
8. Sudden Numbness or Weakness of the Leg
Types of Stroke:
1. Ischemic Stroke
Ischemic strokes are responsible for around 80 percent of strokes today. This type of stroke ensues when the arteries in the brain become blocked or narrowed, causing severely reduced blood flow.
2. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), commonly referred to as “ministroke,” is an occurrence of symptoms similar to a stroke but for a shorter period of time. The brief decrease or loss of blood flow to your brain produces TIAs, which can last no longer than five minutes.
Similar to ischemic strokes, TIA happens when debris or clots block blood flow to the body’s nervous system. After the attack, there are no lasting symptoms or long-lasting tissue damage.
GQ Pan contributed to this article.