Member of Denny Crum's Alaska fishing expedition writes letter to thank rescuers
A letter written by Gary Vitale to the Alaska Dispatch News sheds new light on the danger former U of L head basketball coach Denny Crum was in late last month.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A man who was a member of former University of Louisville head basketball coach Denny Crum's fishing expedition in Alaska last month has written a letter to a newspaper in that state thanking rescuers for their assistance after Crum suffered a minor stroke.
On Wednesday, Aug. 30, while on a fishing trip on the Kenai River in a remote area of Alaska, Crum's guide noticed he was behaving erratically and determined that he needed medical assistance. When it arrived, friends he was with carried him to a helicopter for the flight to an Anchorage hospital.
Doctors said Crum suffered a minor stroke and gave him clot-busting medication to try to alleviate any further threat. A subsequent MRI showed no noticeable effects, and after a short period in which Crum struggled to communicate, he began to communicate clearly to his wife and others.
He has since returned to Louisville and is doing well, according to his wife.
On Monday, Sept. 11, the Alaska Dispatch News posted a letter sent by Gary Vitale, MD, a resident of Louisville. In the letter, Vitale, who identifies himself as a professor of U of L's medical school, thanks the rescuers, including the park guide, as well as EMS and medical staff.
"As a surgeon myself, I can't tell you the number of times we say to ourselves in a backroom how much more we could have done, if only we had received the patient sooner. In this case, due to the alertness and preparedness of the fishing guides, the well-practiced skills of a great EMS team and helicopter ambulance service, along with excellent medical professionals, all went well. Our special friend and the hero of so many in Louisville doesn't have to spend the rest of his life in a disabled situation. For a man who has given so much of his life to others in basketball, support of innumerable charities and fundraising for the university, this is truly an outstanding and blessed outcome."
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