Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons gives health update

UPDATE:
News 8 is happy to announce the Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons will return to Good Morning Connecticut on Monday, September 18th, starting at 4:30 a.m. Welcome back Gil!


(WTNH) – Storm Team 8’s Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons has been out of the News 8 studio and missing from your television screens due to a medical condition which he is recovering from at home.

On the air, on the go, and on the scene, News 8’s Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons brings his “A+” game; but that energy and enthusiasm have not been so public since a health scare nearly a month ago.

Simmons said the change has been tough.

You go from being probably the fittest of you life — to struggling going up and down stairs. It’s a rather upsetting wakeup.”

2017 08 02 gil jocelyn1 Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons gives health update
News 8’s Jocelyn Maminta talks with Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons (WTNH / Keith Porter)

It happened in the early morning hours of a day off. He woke up to a strange sensation.

“I felt I think I slept crooked. I felt kinda tingly, a little numb.”

His wife Liz rushed him to the nearest medical center.

“I hate to think about what some of the alternative outcomes could have been based on what doctors have told me and I’ll leave it at that point.”

 

2017 08 02 gil simmons update 3 Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons gives health update
Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons talks health with Medical Reporter Jocelyn Maminta (WTNH / Keith Porter)

Related Content: Updated Storm Team 8 Forecast

Doctors at Yale-New Haven Hospital told him this.

It’s very complicated but the boiled down version is that some arteries got kinked in my neck and before anyone in pencil or pen draws any conclusions, it’s impossible to know when this damage actually happened. Whether it was 24 hours prior, 24 days prior, 24 months prior. The bottom line when I spoke to the doctor in my terms as I like to be very honest and open, I said look, this is a case of bad luck and that’s exactly what he said.”

The damaged arteries caused a series of physical problems from tingling to muscle weakness. Gil is working hard to regain strength and coordination, undergoing therapy at Gaylord Rehab Center.

“All I want to do is be at work, back to being active,” Gil said. “And I’m under very close supervision and strict rules as to what I can and can not do; so I’m getting better but the progress is a little slow than I’d like but things are moving into the right direction.”

When asked about when he may be able to come back to work at News 8, Gil said he’s working to get back as soon as he can.

I think it’s tough to give an exact date at this point but I just want people to know I’m working hard to get back to work.”

As for his co-workers and viewers in countless numbers, Gil is thankful for the prayers and support.

“I just want each and everyone to know that it really makes a difference. It has kept me so elevated. I don’t have time to think any other way.”

Optimism, and Gil Simmons, are synonymous.

“I’m tapping into unknown areas for optimism these days. But you know, I’ve always been optimistic based on knowing how it can be.”

2017 08 02 gil simmons update 4 Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons gives health update
Back Row: News 8 Chief Photographer Keith Porter, Director of Audience Development Vanessa Wojtusiak, Photographer Tim Clune.
Front Row: Medical Reporter Jocelyn Maminta, Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons (WTNH / Keith Porter)

 

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