Happy birthday, Mr. Hockey.
Gordie Howe, who was born 87 years ago today, has a big celebration planned today — a birthday for which the Howe family feels even more grateful, considering just four months ago Howe’s children were writing a eulogy for their father.
The legend’s birthday plans include a fishing trip, some barbecue and cake, and a viewing of Tuesday’s Red Wings-Senators game on television, if he’s up to it. A visit to a stem cell clinic in Mexico, his second, is also on tap.
“We’re treating every day we get with him as a bonus,” Gordie’s son, Mark Howe, told the Detroit Free Press, “just because his condition around Dec. 1 was so dire that we didn’t imagine he’d be around. You cherish every day with him, and when he has good days, you cherish that more.”
On Oct. 26, Howe suffered a severe stroke, one that left him immobilized. Then, on Dec. 1, Gordie Howe was rushed to hospital. It was believed he had suffered another stroke, and his family prepared for the worst.
His symptoms were diagnosed to be caused by dehydration, however. With Gordie’s sons believing they had nothing to lose, their dad received a two-step injection of two types of stem cells from a medical clinic in Tijuana, and has recovered remarkably well.
Howe now lives in the home of his daughter, Cathy Purnell, in Lubbock, Texas, and helps out around the house.
“[The stem cell injections] immediately reversed the damage from the stroke,” Murray Howe told the Free Press. “He has been examined by experts in the field of stroke, and they say it’s hard to know he had a stroke.”
Murray Howe said another visit is planned in June.
“It immediately reversed the damage from the stroke,” Murray Howe said of the December injections. “He has been examined by experts in the field of stroke, and they say it’s hard to know he had a stroke.”
Gordie Howe, 87, has now put back the 30 pounds he’d lost while immobile and is back up to 200 pounds, his old playing weight.