Tuttle wrestler recovering well just months after stroke

TUTTLE, Okla. (KFOR) – It was a scary situation for Tuttle teen Luke Champion and his family a few short months ago when he went to the ICU following a stroke while he was at an Oklahoma State University wrestling camp. However, his road to recovery is now going better than ever.

“I’m shocked,” said Nick Goldstein, an athletic trainer at OSU. “He’s recovered very fast I think just for where I last saw him. It’s really cool to see how hard he’s working.”

Luke Champion's recovery. Image courtesy Integris Health.

ORIGINAL STORY: Tuttle 14-year-old wrestler recovering after suffering stroke

“He’s got a great attitude towards it,” Luke’s mom, Valorie, said. “I don’t think I could have the same attitude he’s had.”

It’s a welcome sight for Luke’s family and those around the OSU and Tuttle wrestling programs. The young man’s road to recovery is taking off.

“It amazes me how fast he’s progressing,” Valorie said.

It was just a few short months ago that the situation seemed much more dire. Luke suffered his stroke while at OSU’s wrestling camp and his mom vividly remembers the moment she knew her some was in trouble when she realized he looked tired.

Luke Champion. Image courtesy Valorie Champion.
Luke Champion. Image courtesy Valorie Champion.

“It just looked like he was looking at me, but almost like through me,” she said. “It didn’t look like he was really focused on me. I told him to get up and he immediately stood up and stumbled and then tried to say something and then his face drooped.”

After calling 911, Luke was taken to the hospital where he had multiple brain surgeries due to swelling.

“I remember going in the ambulance. That’s about it,” Luke said.

He also wasn’t really waking up at the time. While going through it all, the Tuttle community came together for him.

Prayer circle for Luke Champion. Image courtesy Jackie McAdoo.

“Thank you for the prayers,” Luke said in a video made at the time.

Those prayers pulled him through. He’s now been rehabbing since August.

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“We’ve really been able to kind of put everything together and kind of incorporate some of the cognitive stuff and using his arm and his leg together,” said physical therapist Kaleigh West.

After losing strength in his left arm and leg, it’s all coming back. The head coach of OSU’s wrestling program and his wrestlers even paid him a visit to cheer him on in his rehab the whole way.

“Just really proud to see that he’s got a smile on his face,” OSU head wrestling coach John Smith said.

According to Integris, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the US and the leading cause of disability around the world.

It’s important to act fast if you suspect someone is having a stroke using the acronym BE FAST:

  • Balance

  • Eyes (check for vision loss)

  • Facial droop

  • Arm weakness

  • Slurred speech

  • Time to call 911

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