"Superstar" Billy Graham is currently hospitalized due to infection.
His wife provided an update on his condition on Facebook saying they found an infection in his toe while changing his TED hose. She noted that the infection was “pretty significant” and that there’s some bone involvement. Graham has a history of health issues and is immunosuppressed due to a liver transplant.
The following message was posted on his GoFundMe:
Hello everyone, this is Wayne Coleman coming at you, but better known to all of you good folks out there as Superstar Billy Graham, former WWWF Champion.
Friends, you may not be aware that I am having some catastrophic health issues with my left hip. If all this is not fixed very soon it’s going to cripple me and sentence me to a wheelchair for the rest of my life. The titanium cup that holds the ball of the head of the femur has been getting more loose every day for two years now and grinding away the bone of my pelvis. The only hope for me now is what is called a total hip revision.
My orthopedic doctor, Mark Spangehl at the Mayo Clinic Hospital here in Phoenix, is one out of only a handful of orthopedic surgeons in the world qualified to perform this 5 hour long, highly complex and sophisticated surgery. It must be done with computer-like accuracy. And making this surgery even more outlandishly difficult is the fact that Dr. Spangehl will have to do a bone graft on the area that is wearing a hole in my pelvis. He will use a metal plate to screw the bone to my hip. This is a very serious situation indeed.
Now folks, I have now been on crutches going on a year and a half in order to keep body weight off of my left hip. Apart from all the extreme pain, the inconveniences and severe restrictions to my lifestyle, what depresses me more than I can say is the fact that this disastrous injury has kept me from going to wrestling meet-and-greet fan conventions. Believe me, taking photos and signing autographs for all of my fans around this country really raises my morale and being prevented from attending now is a huge blow to me. You might recall how I was unable to make it to Wrestlemania 33 in Orlando, where my good friend Mick Foley took my place.
Well, everyone, those of you old enough to remember will know that in my day pro wrestlers (even those blessed with plenty of charisma) rarely retired as millionaires and there were no health care plans to support us. To entertain the good people of America and beyond we wore our bodies out and often ruined our family lives as well. Then in retirement we faced our fiercest opponent: medical bills from endless necessary surgeries and expensive meds. So it may not surprise you that today I am in the unfortunate position of needing financial help just to keep my body moving. The Mayo Clinic has told me that this complex surgery will cost something well over $100,000. I have Medicare that will pay approximately three quarters of this amount, but I will then still be responsible for tens of thousands more dollars.
So, folks, this is a do or die predicament for your friend Superstar Billy Graham. It is my judgement day, and my health is now in your hands, as I simply do not have the money. At this critical time I would be so grateful for a donation of any amount from my loyal fans. It will all add up and I will be made whole again by the grace of God. I realize that many of you have problems—some maybe even as serious as mine—but anything you can give will be deeply appreciated, and I pray that you will be richly blessed for helping a brother in need.
One last thing for all of you fans on my Facebook page who have read my post. I want you to know that I have never once lied to you or misled you. I have always spoken my mind (something that has gotten me into trouble more than once in my life!). I have told you the truth and always will for as long as I live. As an artist, seeking and telling the truth is all-important. My mission in life has been to present images of strength through my work, both in the wrestling ring and at the easel. Images of true strength give us courage in this harsh world. It’s the love of these images that brought us all together, so I have confidence that you will do what you can to help me stay strong and continue my journey.
Fans can donate to the GoFundMe by clicking here.