BALTIMORE (AP) — Former CBS “Early Show” personality Mark McEwen is moving on with his life after a massive stroke nearly four years ago that abruptly ended his TV career. He’s written a book about his experiences and is trying to raise awareness about stroke warning signs and recovery. But McEwen, 54, is now dealing […]
BALTIMORE (AP) — Former CBS “Early Show” personality Mark McEwen is moving on with his life after a massive stroke nearly four years ago that abruptly ended his TV career. He’s written a book about his experiences and is trying to raise awareness about stroke warning signs and recovery.
But McEwen, 54, is now dealing with a fresh setback — the abrupt end to a court battle against the doctor who told him he had the stomach flu when he showed up at a Maryland hospital emergency room with stroke-like symptoms.
Two days after that hospital visit, McEwen boarded a flight home to Orlando, Fla., and suffered a massive stroke. His attorneys claim the stroke could have been prevented if McEwen had been given drugs including aspirin and anti-coagulates.
But U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz disagreed, ruling last week that those drugs were not effective enough in the short term to have made a difference in McEwen’s case.
“I was very disappointed,” McEwen told The Associated Press on Monday. “When you’re up against something that’s kind of murky, it tends to throw a person who’s used to knowing the difference between right and wrong.”
McEwen’s attorneys say they are considering an appeal. Lawyers for the defendants, Dr. Michael Bond and Baltimore Washington Medical Center, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
McEwen worked for CBS from 1987 through 2002, filling a variety of roles on “The Early Show” including weatherman, anchor and entertainment reporter. He interviewed presidents and contributed to the network’s Olympics coverage. He was fired in 2002 when the network revamped “The Early Show,” and in 2004, he joined the CBS affiliate in Orlando, WKMG-TV, as a news anchor.
McEwen was visiting friends and family in Maryland – his brother, Kirk McEwen, is a longtime radio DJ in Baltimore – in November 2005 when he began to feel nauseous and dizzy while waiting to board a flight at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
He also experienced slurred speech – a red flag for a possible stroke. But Dr. Michael Bond, who treated him in the emergency room, said in a deposition that paramedics did not mention that symptom to him.
Bond also acknowledged in his deposition that he spent time looking up McEwen on the Internet during his time in the ER. The doctor told McEwen he had the stomach flu and advised him not to fly for two days. McEwen heeded that advice, then traveled home to Florida and suffered a stroke in mid-air.
McEwen’s attorney, Daniel W. Cotter, said he was “shocked” by Motz’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit and disappointed that the case was thrown out on what he considers a legal technicality.
“We believe that if given an opportunity to decide this case, a jury would have clearly seen through the defenses created to avoid responsibility to Mr. McEwen,” Cotter said.
McEwen had to learn to walk and talk again after the stroke, and the former righty now uses his left hand for most tasks. While his speech sounded clear in a telephone interview, he said his voice remains “a work in progress,” and a full-time return to television is out of reach.
He has written a book, “After the Stroke: My Journey Back to Life,” and travels the country for speaking engagements.
“Many people who have a stroke think it’s kind of a lonely malady,” McEwen said. “There is no one advocating, being a spokesman like a Lance Armstrong, like a Michael J. Fox. … I’m committed to doing that.”