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Oklahoma State football: Aneurysm could have killed defensive coordinator Bill Young

The Cowboys' defensive coordinator discusses why he missed games vs. Savannah State and Arizona.
by John Helsley Published: October 11, 2012

/articleid/3717949/1/pictures/1855182">Photo - COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OSU dffensive coordinator Bill Young  speaks to the media during Media Day at Gallagher-Iba Arena on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OSU dffensive coordinator Bill Young speaks to the media during Media Day at Gallagher-Iba Arena on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

He'd suffered a ruptured aneurysm that day and only intense headache and continual vomiting convinced him to go to the doctor — for dehydration. Further tests revealed the aneurysm, but surgery was avoided when it was discovered that the artery had sealed itself off.

Given a clean bill of health at the time, Young said he never considered the potential for another problem until his routine checkup, the debate that followed, then the MRI. It was the history of aneurysms that prompted his doctor to suggest taking a look.

“I said, ‘No, I'm not sure I really need it,'” Young said. “My wife said I needed it and I said I didn't think I did.

“It's like $500 to get an MRI. I thought, ‘Why would I spend $500 to get an MRI? That (previous aneurysm) was 30 years ago.'

“It's the smart thing to do. Looking back on it, it was being idiotic to have even considered not doing it.”

As the current advertising campaign sponsored by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association suggests: “Stroke's No Joke.”

One commercial, featuring comedian George Wilborn, speaks to how stubborn people can be — especially men — when it comes to going to the doctor.

“I'm guilty of it,” said OSU coach Mike Gundy, who is pleased to have his friend and coach back on the sideline. “I got a thorough checkup maybe four years ago. I haven't done it since. I need to get checked.

“But it is a good message for men, because we're hardheaded. Women do a better job of going to get checked. Men don't. We're not very smart.”

Young's subsequent checkup went well.

“The doctor thinks I'm 100 percent now,” he said.

He goes back again in six months. And he'll continue to get checked whenever recommended.

“I'm just so grateful and thankful that I had such great care,” he said. “It's really comforting to know there are people out there to give you great care when you need it.

“I've been big-time lucky, twice now. The first time I was really lucky because it burst.

“So take care of yourself, you only get one body.”

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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