02-07-2014, 01:46 PM
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Kris Letang Suffered a Stroke Last Week
In a bit of shocking news, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced Friday that star defenseman Kris Letang suffered a stroke last week and will miss at least six weeks. On top of that, further testing revealed that Letang also has a small hole in the wall of his heart that may have contributed to the stroke.
The team says the condition is treatable with blood thinners and is not believed to be career threatening.
Details from the Pens:
Further testing also revealed that Letang, 26, has had a very small hole in the wall of his heart since birth. This small defect in the wall is present in all individuals before birth but seals shut in most people. It is possible that the hole in the heart led to the stroke.Clearly, this is very scary news. An elite athlete in the prime of his career having a stroke at 26 years old is obviously not something you'd expect to hear.
The good news is that the problem has been identified and Letang is receiving treatment. Obviously, when talking about a stroke and heart issues, this isn't your run-of-the-mill hockey injury and extreme care will be taken.
“Kris had one brief episode of dizziness and nausea last week,” Shero said. “We held him out of the Los Angeles game Thursday night, and when he continued to feel ill, tests conducted in Phoenix on Saturday gave us the first indication of his condition. Further testing then was conducted when he returned to Pittsburgh, and he continued to undergo a battery of tests here this week.”
Letang has been cleared to go on vacation with his family during the NHL's Olympic break.
“I hope that by making my condition public at this time, I can help other people by encouraging them to seek medical help if they experience some of the symptoms associated with a stroke – regardless of their age or general health,” Letang said. “It obviously was a shock to get the news but I'm optimistic that I can overcome this and get back on the ice.”
“The most important thing right now, of course, is Kris' health,” Shero said. “We're not thinking about hockey right now. We want to make sure he gets the best possible care and gets better. After six weeks of treatment, doctors will re-evaluate Kris.”
You have to hope for Letang's sake that things get sorted out and he can continue leading a relatively healthy life first. As he is a professional athlete, you also hope that he can continue on with his career as he still has many good years left.
Best wishes to him for a speedy recovery. Hopefully they can find a way to manage his condition so he can continue doing what he loves.
Look at these eyebrows. These are attack eyebrows! They could take off bottle caps!