Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Big Guy Takes the Stand

Crewcut Charlie Weis, 30 pounds lighter than his first trial five months ago after kicking carbohydrates, testified Wednesday in his medical malpractice case against two Massachusetts General doctors.

Weis said he drifted in and out of consciousness after undergoing gastric bypass surgery in July 2002 and recalled seeing a priest standing over his bedside. Weis said he told the priest, " 'Don't you dare.' He told me he was giving a prayer for the sick, not a prayer for the dead."

Weis told jurors that he had to transform his home office into a handicap-accessible bedroom and that he needed help from his wife, Maura, to use the bathroom.

Weis said he continues to have limited use of his feet and that his hips ache. "I don't get around fast, but I get around. I try to stay off my feet as much as I possibly can."

The Notre Dame coach explained that he decided on the surgery after tipping the scales at an estimated 350 pounds because, "I felt like I was at the crossroads of my life. I get paid handsomely to be a football coach and I thought this might be the end of that."

Weis' testimony mirrored his appearance in the first trial, but there will be one big difference in the second trial. Tom Brady, Weis' star witness, will not testify. Instead, a deposition from the New England Patriot quarterback describing Weis' ordeal was read for jurors.

Let's go to our medical expert, Gary Gaffney, M.D., University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the man behind the site Steroid Nation, for his analysis of Wednesday's testimony:

"Nothing new here or surprising as Weis recounted his accusations that the Harvard surgeons misfired when they waited 30 hours before revising the hemorrhaging bypass surgery. We learned the coach rallied behind the support of his family and Brady, and that he now feels pain when he walks.

"Although the second Weis trial started with more of a bang than the first, we learned that Brady will not attend this reversion of Weisgate. Nothing in Brady's deposition reveals any earth-shaking revelations, and attorneys for Weis introduced no new medical information, apparently sitting pat during the five months between the trials."

Previous coverage:
Preview: A legal perspective
Day 1: Battle lines drawn
Day 2: Weis' hired hand returns
The mistrial
: A look back at our coverage of the first trial.

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