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Is Mike Ditka Sick? His Illness And Health Update

There have been a lot of speculations regarding Mike Ditka‘s health condition. While some say he’s well and alive, some say he’s dead. Over and above this, some think that he might be suffering from a fatal illness – what’s the truth behind all the rumors?

The former NFL player/coach has suffered from multiple near-to-death experiences, but that doesn’t mean he’s dead, right? Well, to know the answer, read the article below. Here, we present you with Ditka’s health update and more!

Mike Ditka Is Living A Seemingly Healthy Life At 84

The speculations of Mike’s demise are nothing but a BIG hoax. He is living a healthy life at 84 years old in Florida. Despite all the fatal experiences he’s had over the past few years, the former Chicago Bears coach is standing tall and strong; it’s almost like nothing can bring him down!

Despite suffering from two heart attacks and a stroke, Mike Ditka is alive and well in 2024
The ex-NFL coach Ditka pictured with a cigar in his hand

Furthermore, to live a healthy life, one must change their problematic lifestyle. Having said that, Mike, the father of four has left his heavy drinking behind. On the contrary, he’s still a smoker.

Also Read:Meet Mike Ditka Ex-Wife Marge Ditka: Here’s An Interesting Story

Mike Ditka’s Heart Attack In 2018 Wasn’t As Minor As Fans Thought

On 23rd November 2018, the ex-NFL tight end was rushed to the hospital as he fainted while playing golf in Florida. Initially, his agent announced the then-79-year-old Ditka suffered from a “mild heart attack” and was “doing much better.” But, there was more to the story.

During Ditka’s interview with The Athletic, he revealed that the attack was much more severe; to quote him, “Massive”. Apparently, the doctors had to insert a pacemaker to control his heartbeat. He was further admitted for over two weeks at the hospital in Naples.

After his discharge, he said,

I got my ass kicked pretty good there, but I’m feeling a lot better. Every day I get stronger. I’m not exerting myself. When I exert myself is when I feel it. So, things are good. If you had asked me two weeks ago, I coun’t have said that.

He was sent to rehabilitation for a speedy recovery. There, Mike received treatment to regain his strength and mobility. In no time, he was playing golf again!

His Health Condition In The Past

Besides his shocking 2018 heart attack, Ditka suffered from two such incidents in the past. In addition to another heart attack back in 1988, Ditka had a minor stroke in 2012. The unfortunate incidents are explained one by one below.

Minor Stroke In 2012

The former coach for the Dallas Cowboys suffered from a stroke on 9th November 2012. Thankfully, it was a minor one, and thus, he soon recovered completely. Interestingly enough, he returned to work less than two weeks after the incident occurred – Ditka was hospitalized for a week.

Talking about his condition, he spoke to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune. He said,

I feel good right now and it’s not a big deal.

Heart Attack In 1988

Mike went through his first heart attack at just 49 years old. In October of 1988, while working out at the training camp, he fell and was taken to the Lake Forest Hospital. Luckily, his doctor, Jay Alexander took the right care of him.

Ditka had a minor stroke in 2012
Mike Ditka while young

Dr. Alexander reported,

The pump function of the heart is excellent, so that’s an excillent sign. There were no signs of heart pump failure

He was reportedly in a “serious but stable condition”. And as expected, Mike made a full recovery. The coach was back on the field merely 11 days after the attack took place.

Ditka Suffers From “BS” Disease

The former Cowboys tight end was diagnosed with Blinders Syndrome, aka, “BS” disease in October 2017. A common symptom of BS includes the compulsion to repeat whatever one just said in a slightly different manner. It is also characterized by “self-referential” nostalgia. But, one thing is for sure – the disorder does not interfere with Mike’s daily life.