Former Saints player Steve Gleason is now home from the hospital, ready to conquer the next challenge in his battle against ALS, albeit adjusting once again to a new piece of medical equipment, this one to help him breathe.
One week ago, Gleason had to be hospitalized and undergo a tracheotomy. It’s a procedure Gleason was expecting to have done early this summer, but was hoping to postpone until after Memorial Day.
Although Gleason’s discharge from the hospital came Sunday afternoon, a little later than expected, the former Saints special teams member is in great spirits and already game-planning about the next move for Team Gleason. The foundation that Gleason and his wife Michel established has now gained world-wide support in its mission to find a cure for ALS and help patients live more productive lives in the meantime.
Gleason now relies on technology to communicate: he uses his eyes to type messages that a computer simulating his voice then speaks. Like every other aspect of Gleason’s public battle with ALS, he is sharing his adjustment to life after his tracheotomy with people.
"Like every other piece of equipment I’ve acquired (wheelchair, feeding tube), my anticipation and preconceived fear was unfounded with this trake," Gleason said.
Team Gleason’s slogan is "No White Flags," a motto Gleason is still living out loud everyday.
"I am persistent like a banana tree," Gleason said after his tracheotomy. "Cut me down, and I will be back before you know it."