Former Colt Battling For His Life Again

Former Colts running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward survived his first battle with a brain tumor, but he's going to need to repeat that life-saving accomplishment again.


News out of Atlanta is that former Colts running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward's brain tumor has returned, hospitalizing him as he prepares for surgery on Monday.

A report in the Atlanta Constitution-Journal says that the tumor that the 39-year old Heyward beat while playing for the Colts back in 1998 caused blindness in one one eye and put him in a wheelchair by the time an MRI had confirmed the tumor was back.

The type of tumor Heyward has -- a chordoma -- tends to grow back slowly but is often more aggressive when it does. Only 35% of patients with this type of tumor have a survival rate beyond ten years according to Dr. Chris Krubert, of the Apollo MD Physician Services of Atlanta.

The tumor is causing pressure on Heyward's brain that could kill him if it's not removed. The first time he had the surgery it took 13 hours. He then had to undergo two months of radiation therapy, five times a week.

Heyward has three sons, who are with him in Atlanta.

"He's just scared," his ex-wife, Charlotte Blackwell told the Constitution-Journal. "He keeps telling his sons how much he loves them."


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