Second chance : T.R. Miller's Riggs thankful he didn't ignore warning signs

Published 10:49 pm Monday, May 22, 2006

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Jamie Riggs considers himself to be a lucky man.
Some may consider those strange words for someone who underwent double bypass heart surgery last month.
The surgery Riggs underwent was far more extensive than what had been planned. Riggs was originally supposed to have a stint inserted because doctors had discovered one of his arteries was blocked. Doctors later discovered a second blocked artery and did not feel a stint would be sufficient, so the double bypass was used instead.
Riggs was hospitalized in Birmingham for five days, which included two days in intensive care. He was discharged from the hospital and returned home May 1.
Riggs ignored the first warning signs about his condition.
The 50-year-old coach started experiencing additional warning signs this spring.
Riggs urges individuals who have similar discomforts to get them checked out by a doctor immediately.
Doctors have given Riggs a six-week time frame for recovery.
Riggs said regaining his lost energy is a slow process.
Riggs has been told not to drive during the recovery time frame.
Riggs has lost 10 pounds since the surgery.
Aside from the physical recovery, Riggs said it has been tough having to miss some of his sons' activities in recent weeks.
During Riggs' absence, assistant coach Marc Edge has served as acting head coach and overseen T.R. Miller day-to-day football functions.
Riggs hopes to be at or close to full speed by the time the Tigers start summer workouts June 6.

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