After suffering a sudden brain hemorrhage on March 8, former Portland Trail Blazer Cliff Robinson was hospitalized for more than a month. He has since returned to his day-to-day life, but is still far from 100 percent. Kerry Eggers of The Portland Tribune met Robinson for coffee earlier this week and got the first, in-depth interview with the beloved big man since his unexpected health crisis.
"I'd gotten up a couple times in the night to go to the bathroom, and everything was fine," Robinson said. "Once I got up to start the day, I went to step out of bed and I fell. I tried to get back up. I couldn't move the left side of my body."
Robinson called his housemate, LeVaun Scott, for help.
"He was able to help me get back to my feet, and I thought I'd be OK, but I had no movement on my left side," Robinson said.
He never lost consciousness, and he had all of his mental faculties, but he couldn't walk.
"It was such a scary moment," Robinson said.
Robinson considers himself lucky.
"My symptoms were on the mild side," he said. "It could have been much worse. I could have had total paralysis. I could have been permanently paralyzed. I could have lost my life."
Robinson was in the hospital for a little more than a month. Gradually, he showed progress.
"The first thing to come back was (movement in the left) arm," he said. "It's been a slow process down to the leg."
He wears a brace on his left leg for support.
"I still can't lift my toes up to keep them from dragging on the ground," Robinson said. "I have about 60 percent back in my arm. I still have to get the strength back. I pretty much have the mobility back now. I'm still working on things like coordination with the hand."
Robinson played eight seasons with the Trail Blazers, from 1989 to 1997, and settled in the Portland community after retiring from NBA basketball in 2007. Many within that community are closely tracking his recovery and we wish him the best on his long road to good health.