Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ohio Man Bowls 300 After Almost Dying in Freak Accident

"I want to be an inspiration to people who have strokes or whatever...Work with it and things will work out."
--Don Maloney

Don Maloney is a pretty good bowler. This comes as no surprise given the fact that he owns a bowling center in Ohio. But what is surprising is that he was able to quickly rebound from a terrible, freak accident that almost cost him his ability to move and even his life "and [he] just about had to learn to walk again" to bowl 300 on the challenging lane conditions of none other than the USBC Open Championships in Reno recently. You can read more about this inspiring story and see a short news channel video about it here.


  1. This is a wonderful story. I'm handicapped due to serious injuries sustained over 20 years ago. My injuries were not life threatening as his were, but I'm now a chronic pain patient and have had to give up a lot of things that I once could do easily.

    I spent several years in rehab, and still do physical therapy almost every day, so I understand some of what it takes to accomplish what Mr. Maloney has done.

    Many kudos to him and I hope he continues to improve and live a rewarding life.

  2. Kerry, I guess I've been very fortunate not to have to deal with serious physical issues as of yet, but I still appreciate the determination and drive of someone like Mr. Maloney to get back on the lanes and perform well after such a serious and potentially crippling accident.

    I should hope that were I to confront such obstacles as he and you have, my love for the game and resolve not to succumb to the inertia of hopelessness would have me back on my feet as quickly as possible struggling with everything I had to bowl again and well.

    I bowl with a guy who deals with his own obstacles on a constant basis. He's now in his mid to late 60's, but, until a few years ago, he consistently averaged in the 220's and won tournaments on a variety of lane conditions and was even in the Guinness Book of World Records for bowling a 900 series, which he did in a tournament on three different pairs of lanes using a plastic ball. This was before Glenn Allison bowled his controversial 900 in league.

    Anyway, this guy suffered a pretty severe stroke in 2005, and, even though he was eventually able to get back on the lanes, he now struggles to average 160. He says he doesn't know where his bowling arm is going when he throws the ball, and he's wildly inconsistent in his ball placement, sometimes throwing the ball beautifully right where he wants it to go and sometimes missing the pocket or, especially, corner pins by feet instead of inches.

    Yet, despite the incredible frustration he must feel, he continues to bowl because he loves the game too much to give it up, and he never lets his frustration override the remarkable warmth and kindness with which he treats everyone. I profoundly respect and admire this guy.

  3. I can say, with certainty, that hopelessness is the main hurdle to healing.

    It's human nature to have hope, but IME, that well isn't very deep. You have to use the drive and determination that is within all of us, if we choose to use it, because hope is so fragile.

    Depression is a big factor as well and that's where the danger lies. Depression makes it easy to give up.

    This guy had to have gone through all of that and still fights it, I'd guess. He's proven to himself that he has the required strength, but he has to continually guard against the depression and fight the setbacks that invariably arise.

    The government doesn't make it easy either. They've changed their policies for pain patients. They don't care how much pain a person has, they don't want him to have narcotics for any length of time. That's just insane. Without the narcotics, many pain patients can't function normally, which leads them directly into depression and hopelessness. I know of several cases where this has led people into depression and illegal drugs. I hope this guy doesn't have that issue.