Tough enough to survive

Kevin
Kevin Adshade
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We revere toughness in sports. Bobby Baun became a legend for scoring a Stanley Cup-winning goal on a broken leg.
If it weren't for that bit of serendipity, Baun would have slipped into sports oblivion, just another average hockey player from the 1960s.
Tennis great Pete Sampras once won a match at the U.S. Open despite enduring some kind of stomach virus that left him weakened terribly, vomiting all over the court.
Kirk Gibson hobbled to the plate on a wonky leg in the 1988 fall classic and hit a two-out game-winning homer that propelled the L.A. Dodgers to their World Series championship.
Hockey coaches - coaches of any sport - just love tough athletes.
It's a miracle that John Kyle is even here. 11 years ago, the 60-year-old Stellarton man was driving on the highway near French River when he lost control of his car and was clipped by an 18-wheeler. You'd think that would be enough to deal with for one night.
Unhurt but a little dazed (surviving an encounter with a 18-wheeler would shake anyone up), he got out of his vehicle and was promptly run over by a car.
While lying on the ground, his legs were run over by two pulp trucks. Not one truck - two trucks. You think you're having a bad day?
Doctors managed to save his right leg, but amputated his left leg above the knee.
Amazing, he survived all that and a couple of years later was well enough to start golfing again. A huge sports fan, ("sometimes too much," he jokes) he still plays the occasional round of golf.
Kyle, who organizes the Disability Challenge as part of Johnny Miles Marathon Weekend activities, was told in January 2007 that cancer was in his lungs and his liver, and that he was on borrowed time.
For two months, he believed he didn't have much time left on this mortal coil. It was like there were two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
But then, another miracle.
When a doctor in Halifax looked at his case, it was discovered that the prognosis wasn't nearly as grim. After he underwent surgery to remove part of a lung, doctors have now given John Kyle a clean bill of health.
Talk about a guy with a penchant for escaping disaster.
"I think I've been lucky," he says. "I should have died eleven years ago. We all have our issues, and there are a lot of people worse off than I am."
Now that's tough, and I don't care who you are.

Kevin Adshade is sports editor with The News

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