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Man's love of basketball fuels miraculous recovery after suffering strokes

A few years ago, a Kansas City basketball coach suddenly woke up in the middle of the night.In an instant, he ...

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 4:05 PM
Updated: Feb 16, 2018 4:05 PM

A few years ago, a Kansas City basketball coach suddenly woke up in the middle of the night.

In an instant, he was both confused and terrified. He knew immediately his life would be changed forever.

But, Ed Corporal is a fighter and with some special assistance. He barely missed a step.

Corporal's story begins where he feels most comfortable -- on a basketball court. But, it's not the game of basketball that keeps drawing him to the court. It's the players.

"They inspire me to be here, be around them and getting a chance to still continue to do what I love," he said.

Corporal has loved basketball since he was a boy. He was a ball boy for the old Kansas City Kings. He would grow up to become a high school coach in both basketball and volleyball and eventually coach in the pros.

But, if teaching the Xs and Os of the game is his passion, Corporal says coaching his players about life may be his calling.

"I set them all down and told them my story, and I think it helps them, especially when they're going through tough moments in practice and games. They think coach has been through a lot tougher things. If he can get through that I, can get through that," Corporal said.

In 2013, Corporal suffered not one but two strokes.

Sam Porritt of the Falling Forward Foundation says it was a miracle he was in a hospital when he had a second stroke.

"The second stroke paralyzed the entire left side of his body, couldn't move his arm, leg, nothing on the left side of his body," he said.

Corporal knew he was in serious trouble.

"I felt like someone had me pinned down and I couldn't move it, and I really kind of panicked," he said.

Corporal would spend the next four months in a hospital and then begin grueling rehab therapy to learn to walk again. However, his insurance plan only covered a few months of therapy, and, according to the Falling Forward Foundation, that is common.

"About 700,000 people a year have a stroke. Most of those people never go back to work, because most of those people because of therapy caps are disabled for the rest of their lives. Ed's the exception, but Ed shows many of our other patients show what's possible," Porritt said.

When Corporal's insurance ran out, Porritt's non-profit foundation stepped in to pay for his rehab therapy. Amazingly, less than two years after his stroke, Corporal was able to dance with his daughter at her sixteenth birthday celebration.

"And that was probably the most memorable night I've ever had when I was able to do that with her," Corporal said.

Today, you'll find Corporal back out on a basketball court as he is now the assistant coach of Kansas City's new pro basketball team the Tornados.

"This is good therapy for him. He comes out here, and he may start tap dancing or running off the floor when the guys get too close to him so it's helping him out and keeping him around the game he loves," head coach Calvin Thompson said.

But, Corporal's recovery isn't just turning heads here. The Falling Forward Foundation flew him to Washington DC to lobby against therapy caps by telling his emotional story of recovery.

Porritt says Corporal was a hit with lawmakers.

"A member of Congress is crying after Ed tells his story," he said.

But, politics will have to wait, because there's more coaching to do -- more teaching, more mentoring and finding new ways to motivate his players.

However, considering what he's been through, there are days he inspires others by simply walking onto a basketball court.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 708779

Reported Deaths: 13226
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion966191721
Lake51761946
Allen39224672
Hamilton34549405
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Elkhart27356432
Vanderburgh22081394
Tippecanoe21853212
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1054807

Reported Deaths: 18991
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1225191356
Cuyahoga1074592069
Hamilton783261168
Montgomery50176996
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Butler37768570
Stark31513895
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Delaware18085130
Licking16149207
Fairfield15757197
Trumbull15627460
Medina14922259
Greene14706236
Clark13660293
Wood12806185
Portage12431196
Allen11352229
Richland11067198
Miami10548214
Muskingum8717127
Wayne8594209
Columbiana8569226
Pickaway8439121
Marion8390135
Tuscarawas8387240
Erie7600154
Hancock6730123
Ross6707146
Geauga6553146
Ashtabula6530165
Scioto6295101
Belmont5634158
Union558447
Lawrence5470102
Jefferson5343147
Huron5314114
Darke5273121
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Seneca5139120
Washington5087107
Athens503856
Auglaize476284
Mercer471984
Shelby456590
Knox4397108
Madison423959
Putnam421799
Ashland413488
Fulton410567
Defiance404296
Crawford3883101
Brown386955
Logan374476
Preble371098
Clinton362160
Ottawa357978
Highland347459
Williams328674
Champaign321557
Jackson308551
Guernsey307549
Perry290549
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Morrow275939
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Henry264366
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Adams229152
Wyandot227553
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Carroll189447
Paulding168838
Meigs141738
Noble132937
Monroe128941
Morgan106823
Harrison105636
Vinton81614
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