Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Weis' Battle

We've poked our share of fun at Notre Dame coach Crewcut Charlie Weis, but the big guy nearly died in 2002 after gastric bypass surgery. He filed a malpractice lawsuit, and it is scheduled to go to trial Feb. 12. Weis' surgery was to be a secret. The then-New England Patriot assistant entered Massachusetts General Hospital in 2002 under an assumed named and was to go home the next day, avoiding public attention. Instead, complications developed and Weis was so close to death that he received the Catholic sacrament of last rites. Weis, 50, isn't commenting on his lawsuit, but he wrote about it in his book, "No Excuses: One Man's Incredible Rise Through the NFL to Head Coach of Notre Dame," and described himself as "a dumb ass" for submitting to the surgery. Weis, who said he had tried countless diets, reportedly suffered from sleep apnea, minor swelling in his lower extremities and hemochromatosis, a disorder that results in too much iron in the body. A star witness for Weis is expected to be Patriot quarterback Tom Brady, who held a bedside vigil with the Weises when complications developed. "Tommy Brady was the one person who was there with my wife [Maura] through that whole ordeal," Weis wrote. "If it hadn't been for him, Maura would have gone off the deep end."

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