NHL

Gordie Howe's MRI reveals 'no new stroke,' family says

Hockey icon Gordie Howe is expected to be discharged from a Lubbock, Texas, hospital on Wednesday after an MRI revealed "no new stroke," according to son Murray Howe.

'Alert' hockey legend, 86, expected to be discharged from hospital Wednesday

Hockey legend Gordie Howe is expected to be discharged from a Texas hospital on Wednesday after an MRI showed no sign of a new stroke. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Hockey icon Gordie Howe is expected to be discharged from a Lubbock, Texas, hospital on Wednesday after an MRI revealed "no new stroke," according to son Murray Howe.

“[It was] likely dehydration with superimposed fatigue,” Murray Howe wrote in an email to CBC News. “Plan to discharge him home tomorrow. He's alert and ate well tonight. I spoke with him briefly on the phone. He's still him. Just worn out.”

In a text message Tuesday night to The Associated Press, Mark Howe says the test showed his father didn't have a "big stroke" on Monday. He couldn't immediately provide other details of the MRI, taken Tuesday evening, including whether he'd sustained a minor stroke.

Earlier Tuesday, Howe's daughter, Cathy Purnell, who has been caring for the 86-year-old hockey legend at her home in Lubbock since the summer, told The Associated Press that her father suffered a "significant stroke" on Monday.

Purnell said therapists who have been tending to Howe arrived at her house Monday morning and discovered him non-responsive in bed. Howe remained that way until evening, when Purnell said he recognized family members once he became alert.​

She said he was stable and "a little bit alert" Tuesday morning, and doctors at the Lubbock hospital where he was taken were scheduled to do additional tests.

"He's a fighter," Purnell said. "The man is tough. He has this will to keep going, all things considered."​

Mark Howe told the Detroit Free Press that his father was in intensive care. Mark said that he and his brothers, Murray and Marty, were travelling to Lubbock to be with their father.

Marty wrote in an email to CBC News Network that his father "is awake now and responding to commands. We hope to have him back at home soon if he keeps improving."

Gordie Howe, who suffers from dementia, had what his children called a serious stroke in late October and another in early November.

He has lived with his children since the death of his wife, Colleen, in 2009.

Known as Mr. Hockey, Howe was the NHL's Most Valuable Player six times, becoming famous for his rare blend of skill and toughness.

Howe played on four Stanley Cup championship teams in Detroit during a 25-year stint that began in 1946. The league scoring records he set stood until Wayne Gretzky broke them.

Purnell said the family wants to get Howe back to her house as soon as possible.

"It scares the daylight out of me," she said, adding that she told him Monday night to "stop pulling these games on me. He gave me a smile. His sense of humour is intact."

With files from The Associated Press

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