Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

UFC, Ohio State alum Mark Coleman calls himself ‘happiest man in world’ in fire recovery

UFC, Ohio State alum Mark Coleman calls himself ‘happiest man in world’ in fire recovery

Mark Coleman, UFC Hall of Famer and former Ohio State wrestler, called himself “the happiest man in the world” from his hospital bed following an early morning house fire Tuesday, according to a video shared to his Facebook account.

Coleman, 59, was taken by helicopter Tuesday to a Toledo Promedica after suffering from smoke inhalation. He attempted to save the family’s dog, a Rottweiler named Hammer, after he had already carried both of his parents out of their Fremont home, according to an Instagram post by his daughter Morgan.

Hammer died in the fire.

Photos shared on a GoFundMe fundraiser by his family show him intubated at the hospital immediately following the fire. But in a new video, posted Thursday morning by his daughter Kenzie, Coleman is seen sitting up in bed, talking and embracing his daughters in a hug.

“God, I’m so lucky,” Coleman said through tears. “I can’t believe my parents are alive.”

Coleman said he “had to make a decision” as the fire had already taken over the home. He went back in to get Hammer, he said, but he “couldn’t find air.”

Kenzie Coleman wrote that her dad is breathing on his own.

“God is good. Miracles do happen,” she wrote.

The GoFundMe has already raised nearly $66,000 in one day.

Ballville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Lagrou previously said the house fire took eight hours to put out with the help of seven different departments.

“The house is done. The house is gone,” Lagrou said at the time. “We got called at 4 a.m. this morning. There were six other departments there with us.”

Coleman was the inaugural UFC heavyweight champion and a former PRIDE grand prix winner. Nicknamed “The Father of Ground-and-Pound,” Coleman was inducted into both the pioneer and fight wings of the UFC Hall of Fame.

As a wrestler at Ohio State, Coleman won an NCAA championship in 1988.

After suffering a heart attack in 2020 and a stint in rehab for alcoholism in 2021, Coleman has since used his experience to promote healthy living and sobriety in social media posts.

Originally published on: https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/local/2024/03/14/ufc-ohio-state-alum-mark-coleman-battling-for-his-life-following-house-fire/72969524007/

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