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UA Athletics play-by-play announcer Chris Stewart released from hospital day before Thanksgiving

It’s a heartwarming story that will bring tears to your eyes, and I bring it to you just in time for Thanksgiving. Chris Stewart is back home after spending nearly four months in a Birmingham hospital.

Chris, a University of Alabama Athletics Department play-by-play announcer who calls men’s basketball, Crimson Tide football and baseball (he also hosts the Nick Saban TV show) is feeling blessed to be alive — and now, Chris and his wife, Christy, have agreed to share their story with you: It’s a story of faith, hope and resilience.

Back in April of 2018, Chris suffered a stroke; his wife found Chris unresponsive at their home, and he was rushed to a hospital.

After a year of hard work and rehab, Chris was looking forward to returning to work just in time for the start of this football season. It was not to be, as Chris would find himself undergoing heart bypass surgery a few months ago in August. Only a few weeks later, Chris was readmitted to an area hopsital with pneumomnia and an infection, which soon caused kidney failure. And there was more — doctors decided to put Chris in a medically induced coma and placed him on a ventilator.

As Christy and the couple’s three children prayed at his side, unthinkable thoughts were overcoming them. Then something amazing happened: Chris started to climb back. Oh, he would remain hospitalized for two more months, but he was alive. Chris was soon transferred to Spain Rehab Center where he has spent the last three weeks.

And now the really good news: On Wednesdsay, the day before Thanksgiving, Chris was released from the hospital.

As he gingerly walked up his front porch steps, Chris was greeted by his children — Parker, Hudson and Anne — who had seen him only a few times over the last several months (minors were not allowed in intensive care).

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What’s next for Chris? Time spent with Christy and more outpatient rehab. Chris says we can look for him getting back to work come January, just in time for him to call Bama basketball games as SEC play begins.

As we all enjoy Thanksgiving with our families, let’s send our best wishes to Chris and his family.

I know that Thanksgiving Day will be a day the Stewart family will never forget!

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.