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Vladdie Konstantinov’s still fighting and still ‘in there’ sixteen years after his injury

Via RedWingsFeed, this is the kind of stuff that gets me a little teary-eyed: Vladimir Konstantinov is still "in there" despite suffering a severe traumatic brain injury sixteen years ago, and the Livonia Observer's Ken Abramczyk reports that Konstantinov spends most of his week continuing to recover from his injuries at the Recovery Project in Livonia, MI. I can't quote the whole article, but Konstantinov's mobility continues to improve, and, most importantly, so does his cognitive functioning, even if it's only a little bit at a time:

Konstantinov has developed a level of acceptance for what has happened, Swingle said. “He enjoys watching hockey,” Swingle said. He attends occasional games and visits with players. He enjoys going to restaurants with family and friends. “He knows what is going on,” Swingle said. “He definitely keeps up. The quality of his life has tremendously improved. He can walk by himself.”

After discussion of his recovery, here's...Well, the heartwarming part:

Konstantinov has completed his exercises that day and Drake is massaging him when Swingle, a reporter and photographer walk up to him. Swingle asked him how he is doing. “Good,” said Konstantinov. He said he is doing much better as he continues therapy throughout the years. He smiles and jokes with Swingle that he wants to play Uno. “I'm doing good,” he said.

She asked him whose fault it is if the Wings lose, Konstantinov, a defenseman, jokes that it's the forwards who are to blame, then he smiles again at his joke.

His mood is pleasant. It's been a difficult road, Swingle said, but Konstantinov still works on staying in shape and recovering to the best of his ability.

He shakes the visitors' hands as he gets up to leave. “Where are you guys going?” Swingle asked. “Lunch,” Konstantinov said, as he and his caretaker walk out of the building.

Continued, and the rest of the article's obviously more than worth your time.

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Comments

Vladimir16's avatar

Hard to express what I feel when I think about Konstantinov….. It makes me feel good he’s improving and there’s people out there helping those who have had tragic debilitating injuries.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/11/13 at 09:53 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/11/13 at 10:53 AM ET

+19

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/11/13 at 12:26 PM ET

Crater's avatar

Heartwarming to hear. Go Vlad!

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 04/11/13 at 12:53 PM ET

SYF's avatar

She asked him whose fault it is if the Wings lose, Konstantinov, a defenseman, jokes that it’s the forwards who are to blame, then he smiles again at his joke.

I bawled and laughed at the same time.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 04/11/13 at 01:33 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

God. It makes me sad to this day of what just 1 car accident can be such a life changing moment. Still wish a firey death to the limo driver and the limousine company owner.

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 04/11/13 at 05:42 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.