Starr recovering from 2 strokes, heart attack, seizures
Green Bay Packers great Bart Starr's health issues have been more serious than initially reported, involving two strokes, a mild heart attack and seizures in the last month.
Starr, 80, had an ischemic stroke on Sept. 2, which was reported at the time. Five days later, he had a hemorrhagic stroke and the heart attack, his family said Saturday. That had not been reported.
"His progress was additionally slowed by seizures which now are under control through medication," Starr's wife Cherry said in a statement posted early Saturday evening on the Packers' website. The seizures also had not been reported.
"Although there have been many bumps in the road over the past several weeks, we remain optimistic for Bart's quality of life going forward," Cherry Starr said in the statement.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback was hospitalized last month after showing signs at his Birmingham, Ala., office that he wasn't his usual self. In a press release issued by the Packers at the time, Starr's family described his condition as "very functional" and "making progress every day."
The latest update on Starr's condition strikes much the same tone, saying "he is becoming medically stable and beginning to make progress through rehabilitation." Saturday's statement did not indicate whether Starr remains hospitalized. Ten days ago, on Sept. 25, Lance Allan of WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee quoted unnamed sources as saying Starr was still in the hospital.
Starr lives in suburban Birmingham with his wife of 60 years.
Press-Gazette Media reporter Pete Dougherty visited Starr in mid-August for a story about his upbringing in Montgomery, Ala. Starr appeared to be physically fit and moved without any obvious difficulties.
At the time, Starr said he no longer jogs but walks two miles a day and occasionally plays tennis with his wife. He's semi-retired and works short- to medium-length days five days a week at his office in the building that houses his son's investment firm.
Much of his work consists of signing pictures and memorabilia for charities.
When asked about his ability to walk without impediment after playing in the NFL for 16 years, Starr said: "The only way I can explain it is I've been very lucky."
Starr played for the Packers from 1956 to 1971. He was quarterbacks coach in 1972, then was head coach from 1975 to 1983. He was inducted to the Packers and Pro Football halls of fame in 1977.
Cherry Starr's statement
Bart and I have enjoyed all of the sweet cards and messages from packers.com. Your kindness has been so encouraging and we are grateful for your concern. Many have asked for an update and we now have enough information to share. Bart's doctors have confirmed on Tuesday, September 2nd he suffered an ischemic stroke followed on September 7th by a hemorrhagic stroke and a mild heart attack. His progress was additionally slowed by seizures which now are under control through medication. Although there have been many bumps in the road over the past several weeks, we remain optimistic for Bart's quality of life going forward, as he is becoming medically stable and beginning to make progress through rehabilitation. Our family appreciates your prayers and patience while Bart takes the necessary time to recover. We love you all.
-- firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @JeffAshPG