Charlie Daniels suffers mild stroke in Colorado
January 21, 2010
DURANGO, Colo. – Fiddler-guitarist Charlie Daniels said he suffered a mild stroke while snowmobiling in Colorado and has some stiffness and numbness in his left hand and arm.
Daniels, 73, suffered the stroke Friday just outside Durango, about 230 miles southwest of Denver. He was treated at a local hospital then airlifted to a Denver hospital, where he was released on Sunday.
In a posting on his Web site Wednesday, Daniels said he was starting physical therapy. He didn’t say whether his playing had been affected but wrote, “I’m doing fine.”
Another statement on the Web site says he doesn’t plan to cancel any concerts. His next appearance is scheduled for Feb. 27 in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Daniels lives in Mount Juliet, Tenn., but has a home in the Durango area where he takes an extended vacation every year around Christmas, his spokeswoman Paula Szeigis said.
Szeigis said Daniels has returned to the Durango home.
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In his posting, Daniels said he was snowmobiling with friends when he noticed his left hand getting numb but thought it was because he had been gripping the handlebars for so long.
“But then I felt the left side of my mouth starting growing numb and my left foot started getting hard to control and I knew something was happening to me. I knew I’d better get back down the mountain and get some help,” he wrote.
He said tests showed the stroke was caused by a blood clot in his brain.
“The fingerprints of God were all over my experience,” Daniels wrote, because he wasn’t far from the Durango hospital, which had only recently begun stocking the drug used to break up the clot. A plane was immediately available to take him to Denver.
Daniels is best known for his 1979 hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” The Charlie Daniels Band was awarded a Grammy for best country vocal for the song.
He currently appears in a television ad for Geico Insurance, playing a scorching fiddle riff in an upscale restaurant before handing the fiddle to a man in a tuxedo and saying, “That’s how you do it, son.”