According to Patriots.com The New England Patriots will honor former linebacker Tedy Bruschi in a special halftime ceremony during tonight’s game against the New York Jets.
Beyond his impressive numbers on the field and becoming an all time New England fan favorite, his peers and other stroke survivors look at Tedy with inspiration for his accomplishments off the field and for his dedication to the New England area. After Bruschi suffered a stroke in February 2005, he dedicated himself to raising funds and awareness to fight stroke along with the American Stroke Association. Bruschi established “Tedy’s Team,” a vehicle to help battle stroke, the number one cause of disability in the United States. Members of Tedy’s Team have run in the Boston Marathon and the Falmouth Road Race and have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for stroke research. Bruschi returned to the lineup for the final nine game of the 2005 season following his stroke.
In a recent interview with the Boston Herald, Tedy spoke of his special connection with the fans after coming back from a stroke in 2005. During the conference call, he talked about what their support meant to him. Here’s part of that interview:
”I needed that (fan support). I needed it because there were times during my comeback . . . where I thought I wasn’t doing the right thing,” he said. ”This wasn’t a knee injury or a shoulder injury I was coming back from. Of course everyone is supportive and everyone wants you back there. But fans helped me with stories of how they overcame adversity. I got support from stroke survivors also and how they were able to comeback.
”Their comebacks were very different from mine,” he went on, ”but learning that from them really helped me a lot. The doubts that I had at times, I really needed the support from fans to know they were behind me.”
Fans sent him emails. Letters got to his house with just his name and city on the envelope. No street address.
”That’s the way a lot of (fans) got their letters to me, and I needed that,” he said.
[Personal Sidebar] One recent comment on my blog shows just how Tedy’s work off the field with Tedy’s Team helps:
I am 58, almost 59 (in Jan) and had my life saved by the ads that Tedy did regarding stroke defense. I had just had an arterial bypass operation in my right leg and was talking to a nurse practitioner regarding pain management. I realized that my left arm had gone numb and I did not seem to be able to speak properly. This was mentioned to the nurse practitioner and she agreed that I was having a stroke. Turned out that I had 4 tia’s and am now on warfarin as a blood thinner and will have the hole in my heart repaired after I recover from the arterial bypass. If not for Tedy’s ads and websites such as yours, I would not have known what was going on and might have not come out of it with minimal damage. Thank you for the work that you folks do. Paul
Posted by David Dansereau for know-stroke.org