From Surgery Mishap to Power-Lifter

KENTWOOD, Mich.-Saturday marks a big day for George Guyott of Kentwood. Not only will he be in his first power-lifting competition, but he has also fought against all odds to get there.

Back in 2009, weighing 258 pounds at the age of 48, George went in for six procedures to correct sleep apnea. During the surgery, his throat got swollen shut. Doctors worked on him for quite some time, putting in an emergency tracheotomy.

“I woke up and that wasn’t the way the plan went. I was supposed to have the surgery and go to a room and be released the next day but I woke up in the ICU with all of the tubes and monitors on me and I couldn’t speak.” George said.

The next day, a team of nurses even came into George’s room to sign him up for disability, handicap parking and Medicaid. He stayed in the ICU for about a week and then was able to go home, attached to machines. His wife and four children would come home and administer pain medication for the next six months.

“I couldn’t live with that. The hole in my throat was an accident so I wanted it closed up. My throat was no longer swollen; I wanted to go on with my life.” George added. The chances of something going so wrong like this during surgery were similar to someone hitting the lottery.

George, an avid martial artist, was determined to get back to a routine; back to life. He joined the corner gym and as a realtor, had the chance to find the space for a client, now known as Performance Edge in Byron Center.

“It’s small challenge after small challenge; I’ve lost at this point, 61 pounds during the last couple of years, I’ve gotten my third degree black belt, training here for the last nine months or so.” George said.

Saturday he will try to set a personal record, by dead-lifting 430 to 435 pounds.

“I would just say set your goals and make a lot of small goals so that you have those little victories, so you are always feeling good about what you are doing and you don’t want to quit.”

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