Bret Hart marks 20 years since he suffered devastating stroke

Originally published at Bret Hart marks 20 years since he suffered devastating stroke

By: Neal Flanagan

Bret Hart has taken to social media to mark 20 years since he suffered a stroke that left him temporarily paralyzed on his left side.

In a post yesterday on his official Facebook page and on Instagram, Hart included a photograph of his ring entrance at WrestleMania 26 in 2010, with the following message:

“Walking down the aisle at Wrestlemania 26 in Phoenix. Today marks 20 years since I suffered a stroke. I chose this photo because there was a time when I didn’t think this moment would ever happen again, especially when I was struggling to turn my hand over, unable to walk or stand, and struggling to talk. When you suffer a stroke, the doctors never promise that you’ll have a full recovery.

I still have some weakness on my left side to this day, but I’m very fortunate to be here today having recovered what I did. I will forever be grateful to the doctors and therapists at the Foothills Hospital here in Calgary and my fans around the world for their prayers. While the match itself will never be in anyone’s top 10, this moment represents one of my greatest victories.”

Hart, who will turn 65 on July 2nd, suffered a stroke on June 24, 2002, in Calgary after hitting a pothole while cycling, falling from his bicycle, and hitting the back of his head. After a grueling period of rehabilitation, although physically limited, he made several returns to the ring and has retained a high profile in an industry where he is lauded as one of the very best performers.


Great stuff here @NealFlanagan !

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Thanks, Jake! I’m doing a little bit of “relief pitching” at the weekend when John and Andrew sorely need a break.

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Beautiful thanks for sharing this Neal!

Though I could be wrong about this, I wonder if there was more to the stroke that Bret had. The reason that I mention this is because he mentioned that he had to learn how to talk—the left side of the brain controls speech. I’ve also noticed that sometimes his right eye droops slightly so I wonder if he experienced something on the left side. Of course I have the utmost of respect for Bret for his fighting spirit in the challenges that he’s faced. He’s been and remains an inspiration for me.

Bret didn’t have a stroke in the traditional sense

He had a bleed. Not a blood clot

In medicine we would rarely refer to that a stroke as usually a stroke implies ischemic not hemorrhagic.

As such, even though he has left sided weakness (thus right sided bleed), a bleed is far less likely to be isolated in the brain.

For instance with a traditional stroke you get a blood clot in a vessel and the part of the brain being supplied dies. It’s limited to one vascular territory and thus one specific portion of the brain.

In an traumatic bleed you get a major bleed (on the right) but also contra-coo bleeding as the head rattled around and smaller bleeding usually on the other side. Also blood can flow around the brain a bit as well.

As such it’s entirely possible he has some left sided deficits as well that effect the right side of his body and speech etc.


The best there was, the best there is and the best there ever will be!

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