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Vol. 43, No. 3 • March 2006 • .pdf version
|MIKE SUTTON NAMED MOST COURAGEOUS|
The winner of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Most Courageous Award continues to coach while battling the paralyzing effects of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Mike Sutton, in his fourth season as head coach at Tennessee Tech, attended games and practices from his motorized wheelchair. Assistant coach Steve Payne walked the sidelines and acts as the head coach during games, but this remains Sutton's team.
Sutton, 49, collapsed in the parking garage of a hotel near Norfolk, Va.,
while attending the Portsmouth, Invitational
Sutton was put on a ventilator and underwent a tracheotomy on April 13. He was able to communicate by blinking his eyes.
By June, Sutton was able to move his legs and speak briefly. He was taken off the ventilator July 18.
He was able to watch video of practice in October and recruit prospects from
his hotel bed. He was able to return home on
Sutton attended a Nov. 20 home game and made his first road trip on Dec.
17, to Cincinnati. He has attended each of the
Sutton has limited use of his hands and legs, but he can walk with assistance.
Guillan-Barre Syndrome, which affects one in 100,000, is a mysterious disorder in which the immune system attacks the peripheral nerves and weakens the legs and arms. It has no timetable for recovery and can be life-threatening. About 75 to 85 percent of those affected by Guillan-Barre Syndrome recover completely.
Recent recipients of the Most Courageous Award have included Grant Dykstra,
who became Western Washington's leading
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