Running legend home from hospital
October 26, 2007
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Last month, death brushed up against him. Next month, Paul Driskill plans to attend the Turkey Day 5K race.
Driskill, a 70-year-old local running legend, returned from St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction Thursday. His wife Jeannie and granddaughter Rebecca Cossins drove him home and sat him on the couch so he wouldn’t be knocked over by one particularly overzealous family member. Then they unleashed Spooky, the Driskills’ Highland terrier, who got the name from being born on Halloween.
“The dog just went berserk,” Jeannie said. “She was crawling all over him and licking him. She was the happiest dog in the whole world, I think.”
Paul Driskill is taking it easy.
“I’m a lot better,” he said over the phone. “I’m just sitting, kind of relaxing. My family is taking care of me.”
He nearly died in a Sept. 22 hit-and-run accident during his daily 16-mile run.
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Driskill ran up to 16 miles most every day for about 35 years. After he lost his pulse and brain activity and suffered numerous injuries in the accident, doctors said Driskill’s excellent physical condition allowed him survive. He made it out of the ICU after four days, when doctors initially predicted he would be in intensive care for seven to 10 days, family members said.
Driskill can walk around and has even jogged short distances, Jeannie Driskill said, but he still must eat mostly liquids.
“The other day he did do three miles on the treadmill, walking really fast,” she said. “Since then he’s run on the treadmill but he’s not sure how far.”
Driskill will attend rehabilitation sessions at Valley View Hospital, but he’s already planning on giving the Turkey Day 5K a shot.
“I’m sure going to try,” Driskill said. “I may have to walk, but I think I’ll be there if the weather’s fine.”