Skip to content

Letang’s wife found him on ground after stroke

Feb 27, 2014, 12:25 PM EST

Kris Letang AP

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.”

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Red-hot power play key to Kings’ recent success

    Dec 28, 2014, 1:59 AM EST

    Darryl Sutter AP

    Darryl Sutter must like what he sees with the advantage.

  2. Lucic: Players have to step up for struggling Bruins

    Dec 27, 2014, 11:47 PM EST

    Milan Lucic Michel Cormier AP

    Some controversy in this game, too.

  3. WATCH LIVE: Sharks at Kings (10 p.m. ET)

    Dec 27, 2014, 9:46 PM EST

    San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    These teams, as we all know, don’t care for each other.

  4. WATCH LIVE: Capitals at Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET)

    Dec 27, 2014, 7:00 PM EST

    Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Starting to tighten up in the Eastern Conference standings.

  5. Wild place Backstrom (illness) on IR

    Dec 27, 2014, 6:26 PM EST

    Minnesota Wild v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

    Minnesota has recalled John Curry.

  6. Mason targets Monday as his return date

    Dec 27, 2014, 4:15 PM EST

    Steve Mason AP

    He’s been dealing with a back injury.

Featured video

Holiday wish lists for NHL teams
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (2575)
  2. C. Perry (2334)
  3. S. Weiss (1919)
  4. B. Elliott (1886)
  5. S. Crosby (1637)
  1. N. Kronwall (1580)
  2. J. Howard (1566)
  3. S. Varlamov (1551)
  4. J. Schwartz (1521)
  5. J. Halak (1444)