Feb 27, 2014, 12:25 PM EDT
On Thursday, Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang met with media for the first time since it was learned he suffered a stroke in late January, and shared some emotional details about the incident.
Letang’s wife, Catherine, found him on the floor the morning of the stroke — Jan. 29 — at which time Letang said he was alert but unable to function.
“My family is worried,” he said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That was the difficult part, when you see your mom crying, and your wife crying.
“The day before, I was totally fine. Then, I woke up the next morning and it went like this.”
Letang has been out of action since the stroke and is unsure if he’ll be able to return this season. He has started light workouts and will reportedly have another series of tests in 2-3 weeks, at which time a decision will be made about his playing future for the remainder of the campaign.
“I would like to step on the ice and play,” Letang explained, per NHL.com. “But there are many things that won’t allow me to do that.”
Following the stroke, initial tests revealed Letang has a small hole in the wall of his heart. It’s a defect that all people have before birth, but the hole seals shut for most people — here’s more, from the Trib:
PFO, or patent foramen ovale, affects 20 to 25 percent of Americans, according to doctors. Some of the holes have a flap-like opening; others do not.
All babies have the hole before they are born. After birth, the hole usually closes within 72 hours, sometimes with the first breath.
There was no definitive diagnosis that PFO caused the stroke. According to the Trib’s Josh Yohe, Letang doesn’t intend to have surgery to correct the hole, noting that doctors believe there’s a good chance he will play hockey again.
For now, though, the Pittsburgh blueliner is simply focusing on the present — not the future.
“I have some good days, some bad days,” he explained. “I’m trying to improve every day. I see doctors twice a week. We’ll go from there.”
Aug 22, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT
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Aug 22, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT
Despite missing 11 games, he set many career-high numbers.
Aug 22, 2014, 3:01 PM EDT
Spent the summer relocating his family to the Manitoba capital.
Aug 22, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT
Speculation on MLSE President & CEO’s next move.
Aug 22, 2014, 1:32 PM EDT
Disappointed with demotion last season, 20-year-old will get another shot in September.
Aug 22, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT
Has to get his team on the winning track.
Aug 22, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT
Helps friend raise awareness at charity event.
Aug 22, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
Excess of defensemen has GM Peter Chiarelli in a bind.
Aug 22, 2014, 10:05 AM EDT
At 23 years old, he’s one of the best players in the NHL.
Aug 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
He’s the last free agent for the Avs to re-sign.
Aug 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
They came back to the pack hard last season.
Aug 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
He’ll have a battle to make the NHL next season.
Aug 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
He died in the plane crash that killed the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team in 2011.
Aug 21, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
The NHL changed the process for the Draft Lottery on Wednesday.
Aug 21, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT
We know it’s not surprising, but just go along with it.
Aug 21, 2014, 6:24 PM EDT
A Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe in separate years is a nice legacy.
Aug 21, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
No one scored more Pens goals than he did the past three seasons.
Aug 21, 2014, 4:08 PM EDT
Call it an audition if you want.
Aug 21, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT
“He has instructed me to do all I can to facilitate a return to the Twin Cities.”
Aug 21, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT
He was quite good.
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