BOZICH | Denny Crum shows Hall of Fame resolve beating stroke
Less than a week after suffering a stroke, former Louisville basketball coach Denny Crum showed his Hall of Fame resolve by returning to one of his favorite spots -- a deer stand.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Denny Crum was extremely concerned – and it wasn’t about the mild stroke that he suffered in Alaska five days ago.
Deer season is underway in Kentucky. Crum’s crossbow broke during the four hours he invested in a deer stand Sunday night. He planned to have the crossbow repaired Monday. But it was Labor Day. No repair.
Crum’s wife, Susan, suggested that it would be wise to perhaps rest for a few hours and visit his favorite sporting goods store Tuesday for the repair work. Turn it into fun shopping trip and purchase those high-tech arrows that a friend suggested Crum would enjoy.
“And if she says wait until tomorrow, I’m going to wait until tomorrow,” Crum said. “But I’ll be back out there tomorrow night.”
Of course, Crum will.
Even at 80 and less than a week after he had to be taken by medical helicopter to an Anchorage hospital and treated with what he called “a clot-buster shot,” Crum said that he felt “really good.”
On Monday Crum and Susan relaxed at their stylish home overlooking a pond on 75 tree-lined acres in southeastern Jefferson County. Their three dogs – Buddy and Luke, Labrador retrievers and Itty Bitty, an Italian Shepherd, frolicked around them.
“Maybe a little tired and sore, but other than that I feel really good considering everything that happened,” Crum said, before climbing into a deer stand easier than I traveled up the same ladder.
Everything that happened was this: The Crums flew to Alaska last week for a fishing trip. Monday. Tuesday. On Wednesday they drove two hours to a remote location on the Kenai River for an excursion with a guide.
They had rowed into a cove when Crum said that Susan exited the boat with the guide to fish along the shore. Crum chose to continue fishing from the boat. He remembers little after that.
“We were having a great time fishing,” Crum said. “Susan was catching more fish than I was, which she usually does.
“I remember standing in the boat and feeling a little light-headed. I sat down after that. I’ve been light-headed in boats before. I don’t remember anything that happened until I got the hospital. All I know is that I got great care from my wife and everyone else. I’m a lucky guy and thankful for that.”
Susan Crum said she saw her husband sitting in the boat and asked him if he was OK. “He said he was just a little tired,” she said. “I thought maybe he had fallen asleep. He does that sometimes in the boat. We all do.”
But she became concerned when Crum struggled to pull on his gloves and put on his glasses. The guide called for medical assistance and helped her paddle the boat to a more accessible location. Susan Crum said by the time medical personnel arrived Crum was no longer responding to her questions. Friends carried him to the helicopter for the flight to Anchorage.
Crum was administered the tissue plasminogen activator “TPA clot-buster” shot.
“I’m very thankful for the shot,” Crum said. “It probably saved me.”
Crum rested in intensive care the first night and a standard hospital room the second. Susan Crum said that after news of her husband’s situation spread, several Louisville fans that lived in Alaska communicated with her to offer assistance.
“Who called?” Crum said. “Everybody. Susan was getting calls and messages all day and all night.”
After Crum cleared all his medical tests and resumed talking, he and Susan began the trek home from Alaska on a red-eye flight to Atlanta Friday night. They landed in Louisville late Sunday morning.
After a 2-½ hour nap, Crum joined several friends in the deer stand for four hours Sunday evening.
“Had a great time,” Crum said. “I only wanted a trophy (buck). If I couldn’t get a trophy I wasn’t going to shoot anything. So I didn’t. And the drawstring on my cross bow broke.”
Did Crum’s doctor clear him for that hunting session?
“I never asked him,” Crum said, with a laugh.
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