I am usually writing about brain-injury cases that involve sports such as football and hockey, or car accidents. This is the first time I recall writing about a jockey.
Darren Beadman, a renowned 46-year-old Australian jockey, has told the media that his riding career is over because of head injuries he suffered during a fall in February, according to News.com.au.
Beadman sustained his traumatic brain injury at a race where his mount fell and broke both its legs, during a so-called barrier race in Hong Kong. At first, doctors thought that Beadman only had a fractured cheekbone, according to the website. But later on, the jockey was found to have damaged neurons and nerves in his brain, or diffuse-axonal injury, according to News.com.au.
That condition affects not only speech and memory, but balance, a pretty important characteristic for a jockey to have.
In an interview, Beadman said that he was told by doctors that if he were to sustain another TBI, “I’d probably end up in a nursing home.” So that’s the end of his days as a jockey.
He’s a pretty smart guy for quitting while he’s ahead. Not so with Will McKarney, a high school senior and running back, according to the Knoxvillle News Sentinel. The youth, who plays for Grace Christian, suffered a head injury last Friday. He is out of the hospital, where he was treated for brain bleeding and swelling, and his mother is already predicting that his brain will be “healed completely” in four to five weeks.
So while McKarney won’t be able to play anymore high school football, his mother was thrilled. She predicted that the youth should be able to attend the Naval Academy and play football there as planned, according to the Knoxville newspaper.
Yep, let’s give him another go at sustaining a TBI.