|Wednesday, May 21
Former LSU coach back at work month after stroke
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Dale Brown has a one-word description of his recovery from a stroke. He calls it "a miracle."
"The doctors are absolutely startled," the ebullient former LSU basketball coach said Wednesday. "They can't believe it. They've never seen anything like it."
Brown, 67, was rushed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital on April 24 after suffering a stroke while at his home. At the time he wasn't sure he'd walk out of the hospital, he said.
"I was lying there in the emergency room and I heard the doctor tell my wife that I'd had a massive stroke and he wasn't sure I'd make it," Brown said.
Brown was an unlikely candidate for a stroke. He has never smoked, rarely drinks, runs daily and has no weight problem.
"I always thought if I was to die it would be in a fall off the Matterhorn or by being eaten by Bigfoot," said Brown, who climbed the mountain and searched for the legendary creature.
The doctors told Brown that his carotid arteries were 95 percent blocked, but that they couldn't operate until they were sure he could survive the surgery.
Before they could schedule the operation, however, tests showed that the arteries were almost clear and the blood clot had disappeared, Brown said.
"I felt the presence of people's prayers for me," Brown said. "My doctor said that in his 23 years as a cardiologist he had never seen anything like it."
Brown is already back in his office and rescheduling speaking events.
"The doctors told me to cut back some and take it easy," Brown said. "I'm doing that. But I feel great."
Brown now walks two miles a day and lifts weights, he said.
After 25 years as LSU's head coach, Brown retired in 1997. He led LSU to NCAA Final Four appearances in 1981 and '86, four Southeastern Conference regular season titles and the 1980 SEC tournament championship.