Tedy Bruschi shares scary details of latest stroke

Ryan Hannable
July 23, 2019 - 8:13 am

Tedy Bruschi knows more than the average person when it comes to signs of a stroke, and that helped him earlier this month on July 4.

Appearing on the Adam Schefter podcast this week, the former Patriots linebacker said he went on a morning run to a local high school field and played a little family football, but then his arm felt weak.

“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 said. “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.”

The 46-year-old suffered a stroke in 2005 while playing for the Patriots and when he was riding in the ambulance to the hospital he realized this one wasn't as serious.

“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 has already been cleared for physical activity and will appear on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" during the football season.

“Yesterday, I actually went through the same route of my 3.5 mile run which I did during the day of my stroke,” Bruschi said. “My reflection is just that of being blessed. I talked to my neurologist David Greer who’d been with me ever since my first stroke in 2005. We’ve sat down and had conversations about the two strokes that I’ve had, and here I am still deficit free. I’m very lucky and blessed to say that I’ve recovered from the both of them because stroke is the No. 1 cause of debilitation in the US. So many people have strokes and aren’t the same afterwards, but here I am.”

The former Patriots linebacker has also founded Tedy's Team, a foundation that raises awareness of stroke and heart disease while supporting survivors on their comeback journeys. 

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