There are stories that inspire and thrill in equal parts, from which many lessons can be drawn and tennis is a prolific discipline in these types of stories. Grant Connell can attest to it. This Canadian player who was the protagonist in the 80s and 90s has lived through a dramatic situation from which he could only emerge with willpower, sacrifice and the capacity for suffering. Values that he learned and developed thanks to tennis and that, after suffering a stroke, have helped him stay alive and gradually recover part of his lost mobility.
Finalist in doubles of four tournaments of Grand slam and top-70 in the individual ranking, Connell saw the abyss up close on February 19, 2019. At 54, he was walking after a business meeting in a tourist area of Vancouver, when he began to feel ill. The cell phone dropped six times, in an unequivocal sign of what was coming: a total crash on the approach. He tried to crawl on the ground making passers-by understand that he was not drunk, but was suffering from a serious health problem. Many looked at him suspiciously, until a young man came up to help him and call an ambulance.
“I remember listening to the ambulance siren and thinking that I still had a chance,” reveals a man who suffered blood pressure problems throughout his life, although he admits never having taken it too seriously. “I did not have the necessary discipline when it comes to taking medications and doing the necessary follow-ups. I would tell everyone to look at me to see what not to do. You have to take things seriously, I could not have had another opportunity “, says for Canadian media a man who has already regained some of the mobility in his limbs thanks to hard work in the clinic GF Strong Rehabilitation Center.
His fighting attitude, which he has already shown on the court in his best times, has been key in this battle, according to his wife, Sarah. “He is a born competitor and he has taken this as a challenge. The physios have been impressed with his willpower and his attitude,” reveals a man whose driving force has been his family and friends, always by his side. “I have five children and the dream of being able to run and play with them is what is driving me. I am very grateful for all the help I have received from mine and I believe that part of the recovery I owe to tennis for all values that he has instilled in me “, he comments in an emotional story Grant Connell, who still has work ahead to be the same, but who has already done the most difficult.