Susan Tex Green has scored a pinfall — a difficult one, but a pinfall nonetheless — against a life-and-death health struggle.

Doctors released Green, one of the top women wrestlers of the 1970s and 1980s, from a Columbia, S.C., hospital June 5. She had been hospitalized for treatment of a life-threatening staph infection since February and was on a ventilator at one point for four days.

Close friend Judy Martin, known to WWF fans as one-half of the Glamour Girls tag team championship, said Green has been improving but has a long way to go. Martin lives in Columbia near Green, has been keeping an eye on her, and expects to see her this weekend.

“She’s glad to be out,” Martin said.

Susan Tex Green comes down the ramp at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. Photo by Steven Johnson

According to Martin, Green will be staying with a friend in Columbia until about June 16, when her sisters plan to take her back to her native Texas to watch over her during a period of rehabilitation.

She said the 53-year-old Green lost a lot of weight in the hospital, had to relearn how to walk and is working on her physical therapy. “She is getting her strength back bit by bit, but it’s not easy,” Martin said.

The infection, which doctors discovered in her back four months ago while examining another medical condition, seems to be staying away for the time being, Martin said. “She’ll be on antibiotics until at least the 16th.”

Martin said Green is hoping to return from Texas in about six months, but that’s not an exact timetable. “She’ll be using a walker and a wheelchair for a while at least and then they’ll see how she does in rehab.”

Known as “The Texas Queen” to fans, Green was an immediate sensation upon entering the pro ranks as a teenager. She started out at 15 in Texas and had toured Vietnam and Hong Kong before she was 20.

At 6-1, she was one of the tallest women wrestlers, and one of the toughest. She’s been turning out trainees in South Carolina for years while also working in the planning and community development office for the city of Columbia.