Coach George Haines Update

(In July,coaching great George Haines suffered a severe stroke. Since then, he has been in rehab, making slow but steady progress in his recovery. The following is the latest in a series of updates reported by his daughter, Kerry Haines Derr.)

August 12.

Hello Well wishers.

Thank you all for your kind words, prayers, positive thoughts, cards, and notes. We all appreciate your interest. Dad has had a good week. He is working on his abs…. I teased him today that he would have a six-pack before long. I am not sure he really appreciated that but it was good for a chuckle.

He is moving more easily from the wheel chair to bed or work table. What used to take two attendants now only takes one. He his doing most of the work himself.

When he works on the exercise table, he is on his back with raised knees and doing what I call "butt lifts," or bridges!! He is to do 10, rest, and then do another 10. Today he did not stop at 10 but did 15 and then another 10… all the while sounding like Monica Seles (for non-tennis fans, she is a grunter!).

He does a number of exercises to work on strength for the abs and then works on the weak right leg by trying to push the leg down or out… hard to put on paper.. but he is working hard.

He is working on walking!!! This is so hard. He stands between the parallel bars, gripping with his left hand. The therapist helps him move the right leg forward and he moves the left. He went the whole length of the bars with only one sit down mid-way…

I cannot tell you how hard that is for him. It is wonderful for us to see, as it gives us much hope for recovery. He, on the other hand, only shakes his head after hearing praise… can you hear it?… yeah, yeah, yeah!

He has progressed in his swallowing as well. That means more normal foods and clear liquids. All this progress means that Dad will transfer to a full rehab facility some time this week. We are really pleased with that. If he thought he was working hard now, just wait until the next facility. It will be more difficult for us as it is about 70 miles from Sacramento, but who cares if Dad makes the improvement that we anticipate?

The most difficult issue for him is the lack of speech (I think it all is hard). He will look at us and try to say something and it won't come. He is so frustrated. He can however, express his displeasure by saying "shit"!! More than once, I might add. More words and phrases are coming out, so it clearly takes time to heal.

We have the beginning of a web site going… check it out and add whatever you can: http://communities.msn.com/CoachGeorgeHaines/

We are not real techies here… just novices.

Any questions or concerns, email to kerryderr@hotmail.com

Thanks again for you kind wishes.

Kerry and the rest of the Haines Family

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