Dodging a Bullet

Looks like pneumonia saved Joe Tait’s life

Were it not for the chest pains he experienced while calling an Oct. 10 exhibition game in Houston and subsequent diagnosis of pneumonia, the Medina County resident might not have learned he needed a heart valve replaced until it was too late.

“That is so true,” a cheerful and upbeat Tait said Friday. “One of the cardiologists I talked to said this was a situation that could have led to death in three or four months.

“When I got the pneumonia, they initially thought I was having a heart attack when I got to Houston United Methodist Hospital. And by the way, if you’re ever having heart problems, that is the place to go. They did a great job. They immediately went to work on me like it was a heart attack. That’s when they discovered the heart valve was closing up. That was a heck of a break.”

Tait, 73, recently returned to his Lafayette Township home after being hospitalized in Houston for close to a week.

The 2010 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee underwent a series of tests this week at the Cleveland Clinic, where it was determined he is suffering from aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the heart valve that results in restricted blood flow.

Tait is scheduled to undergo a catheterization on Tuesday. He said doctors told him if anything abnormal shows up, he will immediately undergo surgery to replace his heart valve and have other heart-related concerns addressed. If the catheterization goes normally, his surgery will take place between Nov. 8 and 12 to allow him to recover from the pneumonia.

Thank god they found this.  If Joe Tait would’ve passed away during his final season (the very first season after LeBron left), that would’ve been the final straw.  No more Cleveland sports for me! I’d have been out. Done. Fin.

Jokes aside, you’ve got to be thrilled they caught this.  After 39 years of mostly bad basketball, Joe deserves a long and happy retirement.  As of right now, the time table for Tait’s return is early 2011 but I think I speak for most Cavs fans when I say that Joe can take all of time he needs.  He doesn’t need to be rushing back from heart surgery just to describe us J.J. Hickson’s missed defensive rotations.

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