Ace Reporter Steve Wilson is Lucky to be Alive
Steve Wilson, the mountainous, hard-charging former investigative reporter for Detroit’s Channel 7 (WXYZ) released by the station in an apparent cost cutting move last March, had planned to launch his own nonprofit independent investigative unit called The Michigan News Center July 1. However, a bigger story delayed the grand opening – breaking news regarding life and death.
Wilson, possibly still best known for his dogged pursuit of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, suffered a massive heart attack the day his Michigan News Center was slated to begin operation. Alone in his condominium when chest pains struck, he drove himself to Henry Ford Hospital. “I’ve had a couple of other ‘heart issues’ through the years,” Wilson says, “but this one turned out to be ‘the Big One, Elizabeth.’”
He says the attack completely collapsed the main aortic valve at the front of his heart. “This was so massive, the survival rate is usually around two percent,” Wilson notes. “It’s what killed (former NBC Meet the Press host) Tim Russert.”
Wilson had to be revived twice with a defibrillator and placed on a ventilator for five days in intensive care. However, he has recovered sufficiently to be released from the hospital last Friday and is recovering at his home. “I’m back home, waiting for McDonald’s to open,” he says. “No, no, no. I’m not going back there.”
Undaunted, Wilson insists he will open his center this week. “The investigative report that was to be the centerpiece of The Michigan News Center turned out to be a very good one,” he says. “Because I cannot let down the people who provided the information – and OK, maybe partly because the story may have nearly cost me my life – I’m going to launch.
“I do know that no story is worth my life, and will do only reasonably easy work to get this accomplished,” Wilson says. “Most of the heavy lifting has already been done.”