All-time hockey great Gordie Howe is already on the rebound from a serious stroke he suffered in late October – recovering at what his family in a Tuesday statement called "a remarkable rate" after initially losing strength and mobility on his right side.
"(O)ver the past week Mr. Hockey has been recovering at a remarkable rate, including his speech, and his ability to walk with the assistance of a walker," the Howe family said in the statement. "Much work lies ahead, and we would like to thank friends and fans worldwide for their prayers and incredible outpouring of support."
The 86-year-old Howe, who has been dealing with dementia in recent years, suffered the stroke Oct. 26 at his daughter Cathy's home in Lubbock, Tex. But the outpouring of love from a hockey world for whom he was such a brilliant ambassador for so many decades – including thousands of fans cheering him on at multiple NHL arenas – has buoyed his spirits as he focuses on his health.
His family, including sons Mark, Marty, and Murray, are grateful for it.
"Our father has been truly moved by the countless phone calls , letters, emails, posts, and the Red Wings "Get Well" gesture during the Oct. 31 game," Howe's family said. "Mr. Hockey and the entire Howe family cannot thank you all enough."