WSU great Cogdill fights failing heart

Published On: Sep 26 2012 07:05:31 PM PDT   Updated On: Sep 26 2012 07:31:42 PM PDT

Gail Cogdill has plenty of memories of dominating with strength and skill at Washington State.
"I remember when I was a sophomore and we were playing Nebraska and my first pass pattern was 78 yards for a touchdown. That was awesome," Cogdill recalls.
But now, his heart operates at just 18 percent, and he it takes 20 plus pills a day to keep the father of five alive.
"You want to say it's a bitter pill? Some of them are pretty bad," Cogdill says.
So he's hoping stem cells will help to rejuvenate his heart after a 6-bypass surgery, a pacemaker, and multiple stents couldn't fix it.
"I think deep down inside, it's going to give me 5,6,7,8 years," Cogdill says.
The procedure isn't covered by insurance, isn't guaranteed to work, and he has to go to the Bahamas to have it done. But Cogdill and his wife Dian feel it's the best and safest option.

"This way, it's not invasive. A mechanical heart is 12 hours surgery, there is no guarantee, he'll either bleed or he'll clot... so I'd rather do this and if it gave him 2-5 years this way as opposed to a mechanical heart... it's far safer," Dian Cogdill says.
It will also cost nearly 30 thousand dollars, which the Cogdill's are still trying to raise.
"Washington State has stepped forward, awesome, four or five of my old football buddies have stepped forward, and then there's little boys that are sending 5 dollars and I send them a picture."
Cogdill has plenty of those from his dominant past. He's hoping he'll add many more in the years to come.