More than a month after emergency surgery took him off the air, Philly radio icon and longtime 94.1 WIP host Big Daddy Graham remains paralyzed and is back in intensive care.
Graham suffered an infection during his ongoing rehab after emergency spinal cord surgery. The sports talker told The Inquirer the July 23 surgery was successful but ultimately left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was moved back to intensive care at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on Monday afternoon.
“I was with him on Saturday,” WIP morning show co-host Rhea Hughes told listeners Tuesday morning. “We watched the U.S. Open final with Serena [Williams]. I had a blast. … He was in great spirits.”
Despite health issues keeping him off the radio, Graham has managed to keep his spirits up, regularly checking in with fans on Twitter. On Monday night, he attempted to make light of his current status:
Graham joined WIP in 1997. He’s largely spent the last two decades as the station’s overnight host and became known for the wild stunts he would perform during Wing Bowl. Graham was also a cohost of The Sports Attack alongside Scott Graham and Neil Hartman in the mid-1990s on 1210 AM, which at the time broadcast a largely syndicated all-sports format as WGMP The Game.
But Graham is also a well-known comedian, recording artist, and author, most recently cowriting a revised edition of The Great Book of Philadelphia Sports Lists with fellow WIP host Glen Macnow, which is scheduled for release Oct. 29.
Graham has battled a number of health problems in recent years — major back surgery, throat cancer, a staph infection, and a 2016 episode in which he was hospitalized after hiccuping for 41 hours straight.