Theodore's World: Charlie Daniels Suffers Mild Stroke While Snowmobiling

« Hitler Finds Out Scott Brown Won Massachusetts Senate Seat | Main | Colonel Bob Pappas, USMC, Retired Comments On De Spiegel’s “The World bids Farewell to Obama” »

January 21, 2010

Charlie Daniels Suffers Mild Stroke While Snowmobiling


January 19, 2010

Legendary recording artist Charlie Daniels suffered a mild stroke while snowmobiling in Colorado on Friday, Jan. 15th. He was treated at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, CO then airlifted to Swedish Medical Center in Denver, CO. Daniels was released from Swedish Medical Center on Sunday, Jan. 17th and returned to his home in Colorado, where he has been on vacation since Dec. 27th.

There are no plans to cancel any concert dates. Charlie is doing well and looking forward to beginning The Charlie Daniels Band 2010 concert dates on Feb. 27th in Ft. Pierce, FL and Feb. 28th in Brooksville, FL.

Charlie and his family appreciate and are grateful for everyone's thoughts and prayers during this time.


Different Strokes

by Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels Soap Box

The day was magnificent. The snow was smooth and deep and the trail had just been groomed. We were skimming across the snow at a good clip doing one of my favorite things in the whole world, snowmobiling in the beautiful Rocky Mountain backcountry with our snowmobile buddies Cy and Jeannie Scarborough and some other friends, hitting the high spots and just having a wonderful time.

I noticed that my left hand was getting numb and thought that it was because I had been hanging on to the handle bars of my snowmobile for so long that it had gone to sleep, but then I felt the left side of my mouth starting growing numb and my left foot started getting hard to control and I knew something was happening to me. I knew I'd better get back down the mountain and get some help.

I told Cy how I was feeling and we immediately headed to the trailhead, for the longest 15-mile snowmobile ride I ever hope to take.

When we got to where we were parked, Jeannie gave me three baby aspirin and we got in Cy's vehicle and tore out for Mercy Regional Medical Center about 30 miles away in Durango.

I had so little coordination on my left side that I needed a wheel chair to make it to the emergency room where the staff hurriedly started diagnostic procedures.

A few minutes later, the doctor on duty told me what I was pretty sure of already. I was having a stroke in the right part of my brain, the part that controls the left hand side of your body, probably caused by a blood clot in the brain

They gave me a shot of a drug called tPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator), which breaks up blood clots and in a few minutes I was loaded aboard an ambulance plane and hurried off to Swedish Medical Center in Denver, Colorado, where I was hurriedly taken into the emergency room and examined by a very, very capable staff of doctors including a neurologist and was put in the critical care ward where I was hooked up to a battery of diagnostic machines and IVs and began the many tests I would be given in the next two days.

The early consensus of the doctors was that I had indeed had a stroke in the right hand part of my brain, as a CAT scan was later to confirm.

The only effect that it seemed to have left behind was a numbness in my left hand and a stiffness in my left arm.

They released me on Sunday morning and I went back to Durango, where I am writing this column.

I begin physical therapy today to relieve the stiffness and numbness in my left hand and arm.

That's kind of it in a nutshell. I'm doing fine but there are a few details I'd like to share with you.

First of all, if you begin to feel a stiffness in your limbs or face or if one or more of your limbs start to become difficult to control immediately chew up a couple of aspirin and head for the nearest hospital or clinic.

Don't procrastinate or try to tell yourself it's going to go away. You only have three hours from the time you feel a stroke coming on to get a shot of tPA into your system to break up the blood clots that are causing the stoke. So don't play with your life, get help.

The other thing I wanted to share with you is how the fingerprints of God were all over my experience.

First of all, we were snowmobiling on the side of Durango where Mercy Regional Medical Center -the only hospital in Durango- is located. We could have easily have been on the opposite side of town and much further away.

Cy and Jeannie Scarborough -who always haul their own snowmobiles- had decided to ride my two extra machines that day which meant that we had a vehicle with no snowmobile trailer to unhook and could hurry to the hospital without delay.

Our other friends Tom and Anita loaded our snowmobiles and drove our vehicle down off the mountain.

By the time I got to the hospital and the doctors got me diagnosed, I only had fifteen or twenty minutes left to take the shot of tPA to break up the blood clot in my brain.

Swedish Medical Center -the hospital they took me to in Denver- has one of the top neurological units in the country.

Of course Hazel immediately got on the phone and started calling our pastor and our Christian friends. The prayers were making their way to heaven even as I was making my way to Denver.

I have seen the hand of God extended over me in the past when I was in a dangerous situation and I knew He was near.

There were so many things that made me know that God was ordering our steps.

We could have easily been snowmobiling a lot farther away from the hospital.

The fact that Cy's vehicle had no snowmobile trailer to remove saved us precious minutes.

Everything worked like clockwork; there was a plane available to take me immediately to Denver.

And here's the mind-boggling part, Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango had only been stocking tPA in their pharmacy for about three months. If they hadn't had it, there would have been no way for me to get the shot in time to prevent the stroke from doing major damage.

As I said, nothing less than the hand of God.

One other note. My wife Hazel is a very emotional person and will shed tears at the drop of a hat. On the way to the hospital I heard her tell Jeannie, I've got to be strong for him."

And she was, she has been a rock.

On the way to the hospital, I called my son, Charlie, and after telling him what had happened I simply said, "Your mom needs you."

He and my manager and friend David Corlew were on the next plane heading our way and met us in Denver.

Thank God for family and friends.

Well that's about it, I'm doing fine and I want to thank all of you who got the news and prayed for me.

Looking forward to another great touring year.

See ya on the road.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, and for our country.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels


Wild Thing's comment........

Charlie is a legend

According to Charlie Daniels: "The fingerprints of God were all over my experience."

Praying for Charlie, he is such a wonderful person and has also done sooo much for our troops too.

He's 73, goes snowmobiling and suffers a stroke and that doesn't stop him from performing. Amazing.

.... Thank you Jim for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at January 21, 2010 05:55 AM


He's sure right about the Hand of God, that TPA drug has to be given within 3 hours of the stroke. And I would be willing to bet he was sent home with a bag full of prescriptions.

But as you say tough man still going to perform for his fans.

That Geico commercial is great too with CD. " That's how its done, Son."

Posted by: Mark at January 21, 2010 07:39 AM

Charlie is a true American dynamo. Even a stroke can't keep him down. He'll be back and better than before. God bless him and his wonderful family.

Posted by: Lynn at January 21, 2010 08:12 AM

Thanks for posting the update, Chrissie.
Charlie will always have a special place in my heart for all he does for the troops.
He went and played for the soldiers at Ft Leonard wood when my daughter was there for Basic and even my "Techno" girl enjoyed him. I sent him an email telling him this and to thank him for playing for the troops and he emailed me back the sweetest note.

Keep fiddlin', Charlie!!!!

Posted by: yankeemom at January 21, 2010 08:16 AM

I am glad Charlie had all the luck, and God, going for him. He was lucky. I myself have been in Swdish Hospital in Denver. It is adjacent to Craig Rehab Hosptal where I went for years for annual tuning up. Both are great medical institutions.

Charlie Daniels is a conservative and a patrioic American. Glad he will be around longer to both entertain us and the troops and to further the coservative movement.

Posted by: TomR at January 21, 2010 12:02 PM

I'm glad he's doing well, just hope he has no further complications. BTW, if you are not on an aspirin regimen, you should consider it.

Posted by: Jack at January 21, 2010 12:13 PM

So so glad he got the immediate help and tpa shot.
...our family lost that 3 hour window many years ago and life forever changed. God Bless, Charlie Daniels.

Posted by: jan at January 21, 2010 02:10 PM

Mark, thanks for the information about this. I didn't know that about the TPA drug.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 21, 2010 05:15 PM

Yankeemom, thanks for sharing that about
Charlie coming to Ft Leonard and your
daughter being there.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 21, 2010 05:20 PM

Lynn, he sure is, with his saying that he
will fight back better too to get well.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 21, 2010 05:21 PM

Tom, thank you so much for sharing about
being at that hospital and the Craig Rehab Hosptal too.

I agree, Charlie is a real conservative and a patrioic American.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 21, 2010 05:23 PM

Jack, thanks for the reminder about asprin.
They say it is really good to do that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 21, 2010 05:24 PM

Jan, I am so very sorry. This was new to me, I never knew about the important three hours.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 21, 2010 05:27 PM

Off topic:

Supreme Court: Campaign-finance limits violate free speech

Somebody please keep Chucky Schumer on suicide watch, here use my sleeping pills!!!!

Posted by: Jack at January 21, 2010 07:04 PM

I did not know about the tpa drug either. It involved my husband. The ER was trying to find me while I was at work; he could not communicate, different side of the brain. For those who have been able to bear the benefits of the shot, it truly is a miracle drug.

Posted by: jan at January 21, 2010 07:08 PM

So sorry Jan,those first 1-3 hours are critical, I have lost several friends due to strokes, all under 40 and all at least 4 hours from the hospital, usually 8 to 10 hours round trip flight times.
I've been taking an 80mg aspiring daily for the past 3 years, it's to prevent strokes and to reduce the chances of heart attack. As a daily blood drawer I notice the marked difference in blood viscosity, I consider it an extremely cheap insurance, plus I'm shocked at how low my blood pressure has been during that last 3 years. This has allowed me to cut my BP meds in half with my doctors guidance. God Bless you and yours Jan.

Posted by: Jack at January 21, 2010 08:23 PM

My wife had to have a Stent installed in her heart because plaque built up to the point of almost a complete blockage of a major heart artery. Since then she has been on Plavix, 50mg Lovastatin, the asprin regimen, and there are three other bottles she keeps on her desk. Oh and she carries a vile of Nitro with her all the time.

Cholesterol screening is critical, too. This knock against Trans-fat is really bogus, it is only a small percentage of the total fat contained in food. They never mention Tri-glycerides, LDL, HDL and the whole screening process.

Blood clots are strange creature they can be formed by a simple bruise and travel throughout the body unnoticed until is hits a restriction.

This is another reason this Health Care Reform is dangerous especially for Seniors. They won't get the care they need and we will lose a lot of them quickly because of it, which I suspect is the goal behind it. Reduce the cost.

Posted by: Mark at January 22, 2010 07:43 AM

Thank you, Jack & Chrissie - Where the blood clot travels to the brain makes a huge world of difference. A millimeter of an inch can mean life over death, quality of life over much independecne, etc. Yes, oddly youthful age can be a plus in outcomes - the body has a faster rate of recuperation and the patient is more apt to work on his rehab. It's all about motivation and support. My husband takes the 325mg aspirin. The family made a huge commitment to his rehabilitation - we went from being told he would need skilled nursing to being able to work/drive. It's one for the books. Hence never give up :)

Posted by: jan at January 22, 2010 10:07 AM

My friend Charles was an operator, a hot tempered guy who was a loner, he was working the night shift and had hourly rounds, several hours had gone by and no Charles, the place was noisy and we just figured he was busy making the rounds, but decided to go looking. We found him on the floor of one of the local control rooms, he was 37, officially he died enroute, but he was gone when we found him. I inject several times a day and you can't do that without getting a hematoma once in a while, I do worry about clotting, not from injecting but other bruising. That is one of the causes of diabetic amputations. Give your spouses all my best Mark and Jan.
Psalms 118-24 : “Today is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it”

Posted by: Jack at January 22, 2010 12:34 PM