Family: Gordie Howe was dehydrated, did not suffer second stroke

Tuesday December 2nd, 2014

The son of NHL legend Gordie Howe told the Detroit Free Press that the Hockey Hall of Famer did not suffer a second severe stroke on Monday but was suffering from dehydration. 

On Tuesday, Mark Howe texted the Free Press saying that his father was in intensive care in a Lubbock, Texas hospital after suffering a second major stroke Monday at his daughter's house.

Hours later, Mark Howe told the newspaper that an MRI ruled out Howe having a large stroke. The family later released a full statement on Wednesday:

"During the afternoon of Monday, Dec. 1, our father appeared to have suffered another severe stroke as he displayed diminished consciousness to his attending caregivers and physical therapy personnel for more than 30 minutes. EMS was called and he was immediately transported to UMC Hospital. An MRI was performed Tuesday afternoon which revealed the great news that he did not in fact have a second severe stoke. It was determined that he was suffering from dehydration and is currently being treated accordingly. He is having difficulty eating solid foods at this time, has slurred speech and has been unable to walk for more than three weeks now. All of these factors are contributing to his overall decline in health. His mental awareness has improved enough in the past 24 hours to where we expect him to be out of the hospital and in his own bed at home before the night is over."

Howe suffered a major stroke in late October. Mark Howe told The Canadian Press on Nov. 16 that his father's health was deteriorating.

On Wednesday, Mark Howe told the Free Press that his father is having difficulties sleeping because of his dementia. 

Howe, 86, played 32 seasons of professional hockey, including 25 with the Red Wings. His final season was in 1979-80 at the age of 51, when he scored 15 goals in 80 games for the Hartford Whalers.

Two of Howe's sons, Mark and Marty, also played professional hockey. All three of Howe's sons are traveling to Texas to be with their father, Mark Howe told the Free Press.

- Dan Gartland and Scooby Axson

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