A brief announcement

I’ve decided that I’m going to stop writing about Michael Schumacher, about his accident, and about what his situation may or may not be.

There’s not much more really to say. It leaves me with a leaden feeling in my gut that Michael is in his sickbed, and that more words aren’t going to help anybody with anything. And in terms of my blog, I think I’ve pretty much covered it all.

I’ll read all your comments as I’ve always done. Forgive the odd deletion – the criteria are fluid, and are highly dependent on whether they’re the first comments I read upon awakening, or rather in the near-euphoria of returning home after a long day at the hospital! Bear with me about that, and if a given deletion SEEMS illogical, trust me, it is. I in no way intend disrespect for your thoughts and for the fact that you actually WRITE stuff here. It still blows me away. But I’ll try to maintain a bit of decorum (totally arbitrary I know) in the comments, and will rely mostly on YOU to keep things civil. Or at least make the incivility so good that we all are dying to use it somewhere else. THAT would be worth it. And no, I’m not going to have an incivility contest. Hmm…

My interest in head injury, and in concussion in particular, remains, and will be a source of posts. The POTUS just had people to the White House to discuss this issue – there is a HUGE, almost evidence-based cultural tsunami going on, and its ramifications are enormous.

Anyway, see all of you soon.

122 thoughts on “A brief announcement

  1. Hi! I know this is sort of off-topic but I had to ask.
    Does managing a well-established blog such as yours require a lot of work?

    I am completely new to running a blog however I do write in my journal everyday.

    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my personal experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners.

    • Thanks for your comment. I have no idea if my blog is “well established”, but I do have a fantastic (and fantastically involved) group of readers!

      What’s clear to me is that if you love to write and love what you’re writing about, the investment of time in your blog will be very rewarding. My blog doesn’t make (or cost, unless we consider opportunity costs!) me anything, so it’s purely an exercise in the pleasure of communication. I’ve also learned tons about writing just by drafting and re-drafting stuff and thinking about the best way to say stuff, and the best “voice” to adopt.

      If you’re going to want to make money with your blog, then I suspect it will probably take correspondingly more effort (at least at the beginning) than a comparable new business startup. But again, if you love writing and are passionate about your subject(s), it probably won’t feel too much like work.

      I mentioned in passing that time spent on your blog has opportunity costs. I think it’s important to periodically review these, and to be prepared to take hiatuses when necessary, to tend to more pressing life issues.

  2. I’m so happy about these latest development and would be very grateful, if you could give us your take on it. Thanks a lot.

    • I agree, in the absence of any info, your thoughts appreciated. I have to ask why the family are so reluctant to share anything -it may help the many families caring for brain damaged, PVS and MCS patients every day. I obviously do not know Michael Schumacher but what has been said in the press about him indicates he is a kind and caring man who would not be hiding away from reality and the opportunity to raise awareness to help others.

  3. Gary,

    Request you to break your self-imposed embargo on writing about Michael. Reports have emerged today that Michael is out of coma and that he is being moved out of Grenoble. Could you please give us lesser mortals possible outcomes for such a case? I know that you have written in depth about various outcomes in the past. However, considering the current situation and with current available knowledge, could you please provide a more detailed prognosis?

    Many Thanks!!

  4. What a shame that Dr. Hartstein has elected to no longer post about Mr. Schumacher. I must think part of it has to do with various others turning this into their own private blog, while most of us tuned in to read insightful and experienced commentary. I stopped relying on news reports some time back. Ms. Kehm has stamped Schumacher for her own like a male dog lifting his leg, and simply cannot be trusted to relay anything of worth.

    We had the benefit of a man who not only had medical training and experience, and who knew how to translate what other doctors said. Now, we have nothing but speculation by news organizations just looking for the most emotionally-packed gossip they can find, or make up.

    Thank you, Dr. Hartstein, for your guidance as fans tried to learn the truth about the injury and prognosis. You are appreciated by many of us.

  5. Doctor Gary,

    I don’t know whether you have covered this topic on your blog, but last Friday on Talksport Radio, based here in the UK they spoke about Jeff Astle, a former professional footballer who played for England;

    Jeff Astle: Head injury footballer’s case tip of the iceberg?


    ‘Justice for Jeff’ campaign launched


    Jeff Astle’s family launch hunt for other ex-footballers who suffered brain injuries from heading


    EXCLUSIVE: FA Chairman Dyke issues apology to family of Jeff Astle as game’s governing body admit vital concussion study was abandoned


    This is not an exhaustive search on the internet using a search engine, to find articles like these, but those four links give an indication to a problem that has been ‘buried’ so to speak. As a Doctor of experience and some standing I thought to bring this to your attention.

    For the grace of God go I and all and every one of you.
    Best Wishes,

  6. (Hi All …… I wrote & posted this originally approximately 2 months ago but it was deleted by accident.)

    That some form of permanent immobility has befallen our beloved Michael is so horrifying for me to imagine, it literally makes me nauseous with grief. It is truly calamitous for anyone to suffer such tragic stasis. But SO much MORE so for a man as dynamic as was Michael Schumacher. Being a Super Athlete defined him more I think than just the greatest F1 driver who ever lived (who didn’t die on the track) or father, son, lover, friend etc. He was ALL those things & more. One only has to access YouTube to observe clips of him in perpetual action. When he wasn’t doing his daily training, he was playing soccer, karting, rock climbing, sky diving, riding horses, motorbike racing, playing tennis, snowmobiling, coaching etc. The list of his avid recreations is almost endless. Michael Schumacher was a wonderful family man. Watch him teach his young daughter to snow ski or rock climb at an indoor facility, as well as several interviews from INSIDE his home & horse stable. And dancing, yes dancing at a bar.
    I don’t believe he was any more or less secretive or protective of his family & life than any “emotionally balanced ” well known A-list celebrity. The difference was, I believe, he was held in the highest regard by his fans that celebrated with him his victories as well as suffered his disappointments. He was venerated by a larger part of the population than the average celebrity. More loved, adored & admired then anyone I’d ever met or heard ever of. He touched my heart with his warmth, kindness & wit. His smiling wink was infectious. I’d spoken with Michael Schumacher at least a hundred times since our first meeting at the kart track in Germany when he was just a young boy, a very very long time ago. He was so ambitious, even then. But never in my wildest dream could I have imagined this child would grow up to be a world famous sportsman.
    Was I ever a “friend” of his? …… no …….. only one incredibly lucky fan Michael Schumacher knew by name. I am not embarrassed to say even though I was significantly older then him; I fell hopelessly in love with the one & only Michael Schumacher. Whether I was observing him from the paddock or watching him race on TV ….. I’ve been one of the extremely lucky fans who got a little closer than most, although now a terror stricken, heartbroken one.
    After the latest farce Kehm pulled with her panel of useless information, I fear the next official news we will hear is that our beautiful Michael has passed away.
    *Please forgive my lugubrious mood. I have recently returned from a funeral of an acquaintance. This lovey woman took her own life ……. she just couldn’t cope being condemned to existing in a wheelchair ……. I’d met her only a few years ago at a GP race. It was at that race which finally cemented my loathing for Sabine Kehm. (that story for a future post, maybe)
    But to those of you, who believe this S.K. is some “hired monkey”, keep an open mind. Make no mistake, Michael Schumacher, as soft spoken & charismatic, was ALWAYS the only one in charge. He did everything HIS WAY. Being a huge superstar with his hand in many pots was extremely demanding, everyone wanted a piece of him. He NEEDED a strong PR person. Enter Sabine Kehm……
    An analogy if I may: I knew someone who worked in a very busy casino. The top manager was extremely liked & respected. He’d make his daily rounds greeting & joking with the employees in even the lowest divisions. Yet he surrounded himself with some really nasty assistant managers who would do his dirty work; firing, discipline and so on. This way he preserved his kindly reputation & valuable time.
    In my opinion, when Michael fell, Sabine Kehm jumped in & took control. I surmise from what I’ve heard & seen over the years; the mistake the Schumacher family have made, is to trust Kehm, only because Michael did, but he did so for a completely different reason. I absolutely DO believe that Michael would NOT want to have photos of himself in a decaying state or of his poor family struggling with grief, plastered all over the papers, magazines & internet. ( I’m going to take a huge leap here and speak for his grieving fans, we are NOT ghouls slowing down to look at a road side carnage hoping to get a glimpse of some horrid image. NO, we are not those people!!! ) I believe 100% that the Schumacher family should have their privacy at this most grievous time BUT I also believe that Michael would be displeased if he knew how all his valued fans have been shut out, abandoned, shunned by a total news blackout. I have absolutely NO DOUBT he was aware that without his world-wide fan base around the globe, he certainly wouldn’t be wealthy or famous. Let me be crystal clear here …….. I don’t believe for one second he raced cars, strived to be the best in F1, and raced super bikes etc. for the money or for the fame. He throve on being challenged.
    And now with just a teasing of useless information spewing from the mouth of Sabine Kehm; I suspect that Michael, possibly, didn’t realize the extent of Kehm’s TRUE HATRED for his fans. Millions upon millions of people are praying for Michael & his family only to be sh#t on by the so called ” hired help”. She claims the family is being hurt by all the speculation, yet whoever it is pulling the strings is causing it. Even a fool can comprehend that.

    • Belize thank you so much for sharing this with us again as I have been waiting to see it once more. I feel like you do about Sabine.
      Hugs and hope you are feeling better day by day.

    • Thanks for posting this again, I read it the first time around, please keep your stories/insights coming.
      Sue xx

    • Ms Belize, I think you should share with us more of your reminiscences about the times you spent with Michael Schumacher.
      I for one would be fascinated … quite fascinated. Maybe a little more detail, like dates, places … you know, the interesting stuff. I understand you’ve known him since he was 5. Have you any photos? I would have thought in 40 years or so you would have the odd photo. Thank you.

      • All in good time Mr. Peter, all in good time ……. And besides do you really think this is the correct time & place (Doc’s blog) to post my most personal, treasured memories, especially from my time with him in Germany???? Do you suppose there might be a journalist or 2 or 100 that would “steal” the pictures & publish them without my consent????
        Although I should confess that I completely lost my superb clairvoyance in & around 1975 until about hmmm, let’s see …… yup, never did return, so I totally failed to foresee that this youngster named Michael Schumacher was destined to be the greatest sportsmen in the world, circa 1995 onward ……. ????????????
        Kinda like the baby Jesus. Born one day & then showed up out of the ether to be the GREAT Son of God 27 years later. Funny how NOBODY to date & I do mean NOT ONE PERSON, in all of history has any clue (and I do mean proof) of where HE was during all that time.

        PS. Not a Christian, just a student of theology 😉

        PPS. Mr. Peter …… I DID post my personal email several days ago for those whom I thought would be interested in my “relationship” with Michael. It was open to ALL my “friends” on this blog ….. albeit I am sorry to say, you’ve missed that window of opportunity.

    • Liza (Belize), I agree with Jan in expressing her gratitude in your second posting of your experiences with your dear friend Michael Schumacher. I have been fortunate, over the years, as a result of my work, to have had relationships such as the one you have had with Michael – that is why I wrote, “your dear friend.”

      I have no words to give you, that in any way acknowledge the pain that you have felt over this incomprehensible tragedy that has befallen Michael. So maybe, just in acknowledging your pain is enough of an understanding for you as well as all the comments others have given to you, shared with you, maybe, just maybe, within that, there in is some comfort.

      As for Sabine Kehm, it was certainly, at least for me, very clear the kind of person she is from the very first time she spoke. I would offer you this suggestion… Keep your knowledge of her close to your chest. I believe that she is the type of person that would take full advantage if she could and I do not believe that would not be in your best interest.

      Take good care as so many of continue to hold good thoughts

      God Bless you

      • K.C. I can’t begin to express how deeply your words have touched me. You are one of the few here I hold near & dear to my heart. Your understanding of my pain is so touching. It means so much to me that you care for my wellbeing & you so clearly can recognise my dilemma of wanting to tell all, yet I must protect myself & those that might be hurt should I come across as boastful. Its only now after 30+ years of a career that took me almost all over the world that I find true friends that I likely will never meet. My life didn’t revolve around F1 or Michael yet December 29 2013 will have changed my life forever. Whatever happens from here on in, my life as I knew it will never be the same. I thank you again, for being protective, intuitive & so kind. People like you don’t come around very often. Know that I cherish your friendship & emotional support.
        Sending much love today & always

      • KC
        I could not have worded it any better myself with the truly kind words you have said to Belize, what a lovely amazing, kind hearted person you are. How I wish there were more out there in this world of ours like you.
        Take care and god bless x

    • Thank you Belize for sharing your thoughts on Michael and also your thoughts on Ms Kehm and the lack of communications strategy and information to his huge fanbase. The cynic in me would think perhaps Ms Kehm is saving all the information for a new book 😉 x

      • Thank you Teri …. and you know, I wouldn’t put it past her. If anyone would capitalize on Michael’s misfortune, it will be her, the second she’s no longer “needed” my the Schumacher family.

    • Belize, I’ve been searching for some answers about Sabine Kehm for a few months. The way she handled the situation since Michael’s accident is extremely frustrating for Michael’s fans. How difficult is it to have a press-release every week? Six months after the accident we still don’t know if Michael can breath on his own.
      After Michael had a horrible crash in Silverstone he still found strength to wave to the crowd to show that he was more or less OK. Now with Sabine Kehm there is no way to know what is going on and as a result there are plenty of speculations, which hurt even more not just the family but the fans too. I remember reading some “prognosis” from Dr. Gary back in February and it just put me through another round of hellish pain. Really cruel approach.

  7. Dear Dr Gary

    Understand your desire not to post further on Michael especially if your words get twisted.But a big thank you is called for as your detailed explanations have been fascinating and illuminated a subject which and I am sure many others knew little about. if nothing else, even though you may have suffered a few slings and arrows, the world is a more enlightened place for your explanations and it has got people talking about this important area. So thank you.

    I was going to share a little anecdote on my own experience of meeting Michael. I was invited to the Silverstone test session before the Canadian GP in 1995 when Michael was still racing for Benetton. We had complete pit access and it was fascinating watching him going about his work. What struck me was the complete commitment and level of attention he was paying to his “work”. He would go out in the car for a few laps, come back in and spend 20-30 minutes describing in some detail the feeling of the car at every corner, straight, etc. The level of feedback almost certainly was gold-dust to his engineers. Contrast that with some of the other drivers who were there (no names 🙂 ) and many said a few words after getting out of the car and disappeared to their motor-home.

    I don’t normally do autographs, but I thought I would so borrowed a pen and waited patiently for the right moment. He was on a mobile chatting and when he finished came over and took the pen – did the signature then looked down at the paper – the ink had run out. So he tried again. Nothing. Looked at me, shrugged, smiled and handed me the “autodent”. I didn’t have another pen or an opportunity to get another autograph, so must be the proud owner of the world’s only autodent from Michael 🙂

    He was brilliant with fans, but they quite rightly took second place to the racing. I wasn’t a Schui fan particularly before I went, but after did find a level of respect for his commitment and saw him in a different light. I’ve got some pictures somewhere of him in the garage going about his work if anyone is interested I can post a link.

    Oh and he has tiny feet!!! 😉 (that really surprised me!)

    • Let me be the first to thank you Meanioni99. I’d say what you have there is quite unique. Treasure it. I would LOVE to see your pictures of Michael. I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures or even get anyone’s autograph as I was “working” & it was against our policy. I had to laugh when you mentioned his tiny feet. I don’t know about tiny, but most (not all) drivers have smallish feet especially in those PUMA trainers. They make everybody’s feet look puny. I’m pretty sure his feet were proportionate to his 5′ 8 1/2″ frame. Thanks again for your sharing; waiting with baited breath for your photos.
      Thanks & all the best.

      • Here’s the link to the photos from the day. Plus I did a write up on another forum – some time ago which I have copied (see below):

        “I once went as a guest of one of the sponsors to Benetton during a testing day in Silverstone in 1995, just before the Canadian GP. This was in the days of Hill vs Schumacher. Schu was team mates with Johnny Herbert at the time.

        It was fascinating going along to this sort of thing and to be immersed in the culture for a day.

        We went to the factory in Enstone first, whilst there Flav turned up in a very sharp suit, getting out of a chauffeur driven Bentley. You never see Flav in a suit normally and he certainly looked the piece 🙂 The Godfather sprung to mind 🙂

        We went into the design area and they showed us the CAD offerings which even in those days was impressive. Whilst we were there Johnny Herbert wondered down, beaming smile and jokingly looked over the shoulder of the guide (their marketing guy) and pulled a few funny faces – he was certainly a character! (the same marketing guys admitted that he was very popular with the mechanics, Schui less so, as quote: “he’s German, not the same sense of humour!”

        Flav’s office was tucked down one corner, very small, beautifully furnished with polished wood furniture, set though in a modern partitioned office – seemed a bit incongruous. But it was the miniature size of the office that surprised us the most. I guess they were giving the maximum space to the engineers. On then into the factory. Spotless, you could eat your dinner off the floor. Three perfect looking Benetton Renaults on stands with a buzz of mechanics zooming around them, making last minute checks. Ironically, if I recall, Schui pulled out of the race subsequently with a mechanical failure… :-S

        Then to Silverstone. There were a number of teams testing: Jordan (Eddie Irvine and Rubens Barrichello), Footwork, McLaren (Mika Hakkinen), Williams (David Coulthard and Damon Hill), Benetton (Michael Schumacher).

        I almost got squashed by Rubens on a moped as I wondered across the pit lane not looking – he grinned at me in a “hurry up and get out of the way” kind of way. We went into the pit garages which were amazing – I have this recollection of a strong smell of grease and fuel pervading throughout. Schui was there – totally focused – he climbed into the car ran a series of fast laps (faster than Hill as I recall), but what was more interesting was his debriefing afterwards. He came in and spent after only two laps, 30 mins with his engineers, describing each of the corners, what he felt, etc. He seemed to have an astonishingly good memory for minute detail. I couldn’t help contrast this with Hill and Coulthard who got out of their cars, said a few things then drifted into the motorhomes. This was a lasting impression of just how dedicated Schui was, like him or not he was certainly a professional and very thorough. He also had tiny feet…. 🙂

        We had complete access to the garage and were wondering around as the mechanics were doing their thing, doing our best to keep out of their way. I can’t help thinking in the modern climate how this sort of thing would not be allowed for fear of spying etc. We did try taking a few pics, funnily enough it was McLaren who were most paranoid about pictures being taken.

        We wondered down the pitlane, most drivers kept out of site, Mika was very private, Coulthard was a bit arrogant with some of us, but Damon Hill came across as a really warm, friendly guy – went out of his way to talk to people, etc. As organisations, Williams radiated efficiency and professionalism, McLaren came across as a bit cold and Benetton seemed very relaxed, friendly and team focused. Indeed watching tours going round Williams Garage, they were supervised and were there for minutes, rather than the 2 hour unlimited access we had.

        We also went into Schui’s motorhome. A converted luxury two-floor coach with blacked out windows and aircon. The front was an office – completely equipped with mobile comms, the upper level was all leather, TVs, meeting areas and a couch for Schui’s physio who stood looking all tanned and muscular 🙂 Downstairs was a fully equipped kitchen from an area about 8 feet square (2.5 metres square), with a proper, pukka chef. And oh the food….

        One of the garages had been turned into a hospitality area, with plastic chairs, tables and umbrellas (inside?) and a bank of glass-fronted fridges stacked high with gorgeous food of all descriptions. These were open to all you could go in and just grab a plate. The gateaux – oh don’t go there. The other nice thing was two drinks fridges, stocked full of beer (Warsteiner, one of their sponsors), juices and fizzy drinks. Again, you could help yourself. Sprinkled around the 20 or so tables were engineers, managers, journalists wives and girlfriends.

        It was certainly a seductive way of life and part of me went – wow! I could do this!!!! 🙂

        Back in the garages, the team were replacing the gear box on Schui’s car. Incredible. 8 guys with various tools in hand clustered round the back of the car all not saying a word, but at precisely the right time a hand would appear to hold a piece, undo a bolt, etc – completely synchronised – how many times had they done this? Car surgeons 🙂

        Schui ended the day I think on top on times..”

  8. Terrific MS article in the Montreal Gazette. Interesting take on the author’s perception of what no MS news means.

  9. Jan my dear, I am so sorry. I am sooooo confused with twitter. You sent a message to Liza’s mobile & she didn’t know who you were & me, the dodo bird didn’t make the connection from Jan to Janette, LOL. I am soooo sorry. I tried to leave a tweet for you but it ONLY showed up on MY page. I even used the “tweet to Jan window” on the left side of your page. And Liza’s message to you asking how you got her phone number ended up on MY twitter page as well. Somehow I am still connected to her account even though I have my own page. I can’t give out my real cell numbers. I have two phones. One for Europe & the other one for North America. What am I doing wrong? or is it that my twitter account is connected to her phone number.
    I’ve set up the following email for friends I KNOW from this blog. ALL OTHERS WILL BE BLOCKED. Belize2014@mail.com

    PS Sorry Doc. hope you don’t mind us using your blog to work this out.

      • Absolutely Sue…..I feel so bad that I haven’t addressed your lovely story about getting Michael’s autograph. I read it over several times & I could so clearly see him patiently but diligently signing one by one. You probably didn’t notice but I’m sure he made an ever so subtle gesture to you thanking him. You probably missed it due to excitement. He was kind that way. I had the pleasure of observing him from a short distance on so many occasions. I had to hide my own excitement when we were talking. I don’t think he ever knew how much I adored him, especially after he became so famous. As promised I will explain soon enough. For now, I’m off to take a little nap; the meds are making me tired. But I assure you, I am really fine. Just a sore wrist (typing with one hand) and a pulled muscle. Geez, I thought I was having a heart attack, LOL.

    • Liza thanks for your reply, I think I would have missed any gesture he made due to my heightened state of excitement! Add the fact that he was wearing those mirrored sunglasses and I don’t even know if he made eye contact, but thanks for your observation, you seem to know him so well.

      Loving the stories that are starting to surface, do you have any stories/observations about Michael and Corrina together?

      Love sue. Xx

  10. Hi Everyone……. Sorry about the silence yesterday, my laptop was temporarily confiscated. I had a stupid accident the other night. However, I’m the only one in the house that believes I am just fine. Good as ….. as before. My “hosts” (dear friends) on the other hand exiled me to my room for some R&R, sans my laptop. Probably because upon return from the hospital, at about 3am, (whose emerge doctor saw fit to keep me for observation for close to 12 hours,) I opened my laptop & started typing. For those of you that might be interested, here’s what happened; I’ll TRY to keep it brief.
    [ Why is it that when I write a comment on my word processor, it seems short’ish & then when I post it to the bog, it takes up the whole page? ]
    Still reeling from jet lag, I stayed up Wednesday night until 5am, reading & posting to the Doc’s blog. Upon retiring to my assigned room (remember, I am staying with some friends at their B&B in Ontario, Canada). I was “fluffing” my pillow, maybe with a little too much vigor, launched it into the air flipping it around before coming to a rest on the floor on the opposite side of the bed. Being tired/lazy I chose not to get up, walk around the bed to pick it up; I decided to twist myself into a pretzel and reach for it from where I was sitting on the bed. Realizing it was JUST out of reach, I gave myself an ever so slight nudge …….. I suppose you all can guess …….. I rolled off the bed, landing on the flour. That’s ok, I told myself, I’ve fallen of things before, no problem …… Well, pillow in hand, I crawled into bed when a dagger sharp pain directly in the hollow muscular organ located behind the sternum and between the lungs took me by surprise, okay, SHOCK! The pain of trying to take a breath coupled with severe left shoulder to wrist aching made me think it might be a prudent idea to call 999. When that didn’t work, I called down to on my mobile, one of the panicked innkeepers informed me emergency is 911 in Canada.
    Then in s l o w succession: VERY LOUD ambulance, oxygen mask, strapped into gurney, various questions. On arrival, hooked up to blood pressure cuff monitoring on a continuous loop. Full body x-ray, clear bag of unknown substance (possibly some morphine) administered intravenously. Waiting, waiting, more waiting. Wrist wrapped in elastic bandage, arm sling ………. Lollypop (funny doctor) …… Instructions: hot & cold compress, lots of rest, try not to cough, laugh or sneeze.
    Prognosis: possible torn enflamed muscle in upper left body cavity, sprained left wrist & probable anxiety attack. Too relaxed to remember name of said muscle. Handful of prescriptions; Clonazepam, Voltaran Rapide, Tylenol 3. Drive to 24 hour pharmacy & promptly “home”. The innkeeper, my dear friend, mortified at my insistence to fire up my laptop, had a quick powwow (with her partner) at which point my typing devise was commandeered & I was escorted to my room & tucked into bed like a 5 year old. They even took my lolly 😦
    Presently my allotted hour of computer time is almost over. “Talk” to you all tomorrow night. Sending good energy to all my friends out there.

    PS. Doc., I found that original piece I wrote on Michael Schumacher in my word processor. Can I post it again on this thread?

      • Liza great to hear from you, I was starting to worry and was about to send a message to check on you! Sorry to hear about your accident and I truly wish you a speedy recovery my friend. Who would have thought that a fall like that could cause so much harm. But I suppose that Michaels accident has made us all aware that life changing accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.

        Excited to see that the good Doc has sanctioned your request to post your story about Michael, I can’t wait, so excited!!!

        But please only when you’re ready – for now REST!!

        Love to you. Sue x

      • Yes Mimi, in a previous post I admitted to “borrowing” a friends identity. But she started to get nervous about journalists showing up on her door step, so I changed it to Belize. I love her, but she’s being needlessly paranoid. Although in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have posted a pic of myself (but I had consumed a bit too much liquid courage that night). My boss was somewhat pissed off at me but I’ve been working for him for over 2 decades. Besides, I have more hair pieces than a wig store & tons of sunglasses; so I can change my look in a matter of moments. I’ll explain more about what I have been doing for a living in a later post. Its nothing out of the ordinary but requires some discretion. Sorry about the confusion.
        (a.k.a. Liza)

      • Thanks Mimi …. you are so sweet to say that. I used to have a really good friend named Mimi when I was 14 years old. We used to get ourselves into so much trouble …… but we had so much fun. Good times.

        I’d replied to one of your posts, about there being “no stupid questions” & at the bottom I put ( a.k.a. Liza ). You probably just missed it. Jason calls me Be-Liza which I thought was cute. Sending positive energy your way.
        (a.k.a. Liza)

  11. Hi Gary,
    Ti scrivo dall’Italia. Ho seguito molto da vicino il caso di Leonardo David di Gressoney. Tutte le fasi evolutive dell’incidente di Schumacher sono assolutamente identiche e fin dall’inizio ho rivissuto quel tragico e drammatico incidente. Purtroppo con infinito dolore non posso che concordare e rafforzare quanto da lei ultimamente scritto.

    Moreno Rossin

  12. A brief though telling insight into the ‘life goes on’ stage maybe the Schumacher family have reached.
    An article in the Italian Sports paper “Corriere dell Sport” in Italy which indicates that Michael’s son Mick, who races Go-Karts under his mother’s maiden name of Betsch, secured 3rd place at the Castelletto di Branduzzo circuit in April this year.
    It’s in Italian, sorry, but the information is replicated across numerous websites and articles

    • Peter, it would not surprise me if MS has been moved to a rehab setting. Thus, freeing up some family time for the wife and the children.


    • Hi Peter …… Michael told me in 2007 or 2008, can’t remember exactly, that his son Mick was starting to race karts under his wife’s maiden name. His grandfather (Michael’s dad) was escorting him to the races. When I asked why not under the Schumacher name, he looked down, shrugged and said it was all for the best. I didn’t know what to make of it so I changed the subject. My usual conversations with him were light hearted, usually me teasing him about something, like over highliting his hair or looking effeminate in a particular watch photo shoot. I tried to make him laugh whenever I saw him. He seemed very serious a lot of the time. I teased him about that too. I know Michael himself used a pseudonym when he started racing bikes. I still don’t know why his son wouldn’t have made a name up instead of using his mothers infamous maiden name. Our conversations were very light hearted post Germany. Maybe it’s just too much pressure being a male Schumacher. He also has a step brother from another mother (Barbara, I believe) named Sebastian, who is a race car driver as well or was (not F1). I still found his reaction about his son a bit strange. But as I remind everyone, I wasn’t a friend, just a fan.
      BTW, its good to see you posting here again. I didn’t get a chance to say Hi & welcome back.

      PS. Doc. Is it still okay for us to post about Michael on your blog?

      • You know Doc., I’m really starting to warm up to you. Wink Wink Nudge Nudge ;-

        I’d better go to sleep now before I get caught using my laptop again, beside which I think the emerge doctor gave me too many drugs, I mean medication. Night Night.

      • Belize, I never realized you had a close relationship with MS. I can now understand your feelings towards the MS situation. I’m so sorry!!!

      • I would have thought it obvious that the Schumachers, being as averse to publicity as they are, would use a pseudonym for their son’s fledgling racing career. The expectation on the young Mick’s shoulders would have been immense had he raced under his real name. Betsch was as good a name as any other … it fooled the people it was designed to fool, namely the sensationalist press who would only have been interested in a good story, and the press which covers motor racing and karting were responsible enough to (more than likely) be in on the pseudonym, but not abuse it.
        Your comment however – “Michael told me in 2007 or 2008, can’t remember exactly, that his son Mick was starting to race karts under his wife’s maiden name” – troubles me greatly. Given the circumstances we have already covered Michael letting this information slip to a self styled ‘mere fan’ would seem highly unlikely to say the least. Are you sure you aren’t maybe imagining what he said ….?

      • OH Peter ….. YOU CAUGHT ME LYING!!! (sic,sic,sic) …… you are absolutely correct. Michael Schumacher would NEVER tell ” a mere fan” anything so personal ……… Green is such an ugly color on you.
        Michael Schumacher dear friend 🙂

  13. Gary, I apologise if this has been covered elsewhere, but do you have any thoughts about concussion in rugby players? It has been a hot topic in recent weeks with some players forced to retire due to brain injury.

  14. Dear Gary,
    I am very disappointed that you will no longer write about Michael´s situation. I am German as well and grew up with Michael being the most important figure in motor sport. The fact that something like this could happen to Michael left me very much in shock. On the other hand, I understand your decision as well, you are all over the news these days as if you were making “really extreme” statements about Michael´s conditions out of the blue, whilst you only ever base your statements on statistics and your own experience as a doctor. I understand this can be quite frustrating. But I would want you to know that you have helped many fans, many people in general to understand and in this way to cope with the situation. Your style of writing is very interesting and easily understandable, despite the heavy complexity of the subject. I think this is a great talent of yours and very much speaks for your intelligence. I truly wish you all the best and I hope that you will not let this wave of journalists bring you down!
    Kind regards, Ina

  15. Liza, sorry to hear you aren’t feeling too well, hope you feel better soon. My accident happened around 8 years ago. I fell down the stairs early one morning and the last thing I thought of as I fell was that I was going to bang my head. As I hit my head I felt no pain and the next thing I knew I just stood up. I was very shaken but got myself ready for work. At some point I noticed that my husband’s car wasn’t on the drive, I was vaguely aware that he had put it in the garage the night before but couldn’t be certain. At this point I wasn’t too worried so went out to walk my dogs. As I checked my watch I was alarmed to see that it was a half hour later than I thought it was! That’s when I began to worry.

    As I walked I remembered some of the cases I had seen at work. In particular one where a chap had suffered a head injury, ignored his symptoms, his health deteriorated and he died 2 days later. By the time I returned home I w as sufficiently panicked to get my husband out of bed to take me to hospital. (I don’t like making a fuss so had not roused him earlier).

    At the hospital they confirmed that I had been knocked out but only for a short time, the half hour I had lost was due to my confused state. I passed all the tests, was sent home to rest but advised to go back if I began to feel unwell or especially drowsy. The next day I was fine and have had no lingering effects st all. One of the lucky ones I think.

    Liza I wasn’t aware that at least one of your postings had been removed. I wonder why as I for one was looking forward to you sharing you memories of and encounters with michael. What a lucky girl you are – my encounter lasted only a few minutes but it is something I shall treasure forever and never forget.

    Btw I am in England, it is almost bedtime, as usual I will think of michael as I drift off to sleep and check the internet in the morning for any news.

    Sorry if I’ve rambled on a bit.

    Night all

    Sue xx

    • Sue,

      I’m glad to hear that your fall wasn’t a serious one. It must have been a frightening experience nonetheless.

      You mentioned in your comment that you’ve met Michael. Even though I have been following news coverage of Michael’s recovery because of my own personal experiences re: brain injuries, I have actually always been a fan of his. It would be great if you could share your experience of meeting him. And don’t leave anything out! Detail! We need detail! 🙂


      • Anita it is not as exciting as it sounds, I simply stood with a throng of people and got an autograph. I was as close to him as could be, just a barrier separated us, but I have some great photos.

        A great memory to be cherished forever

        Sorry to disappoint, Liza is the one with the stories, I think

        Sue x

  16. Hello Doctor Gary,

    There is an interesting article in the Daily Telegraph [London], which was published today;

    What it’s like to have locked-in syndrome


    I don’t whether you have read it or not, but I share it with you and the other posters on your Blog.

    With regards to your views about Michael Schumacher and also those dealing with the FIA & Jean Todt in your other recent postings. Well done for speaking it as it is, from your own well informed perspective. Reading other posters comments, it is really heartening that you have helped with theirs and all of our understanding on these matters.

    For the grace of God go I and all and every one of you.

    Best Wishes,

      • mimi,

        I took the positive frame of reference that the guy survived and it is a story which does have a heart warming ending. I understand your thinking though, because initially the outcome did not look very good and some Doctors were plainly wrong in their analysis. These things happen, but there was a positive outcome. I wish for the same outcome for Michael Schumacher, like we all do.

        For the grace of God go I and all and every one of you.

        Best Wishes,

  17. Doctor: As a former ski racer, Formula 1 fan and survivor of an induced coma, Schumacher’s plight has touched a lot of my buttons. I appreciate the insights you have brought to us laymen. I understand that you think there is nothing more to add to the story. But I hope, as a retired journalist who strived mightily to bring both facts AND context to his work, that your treatment at the hands of crappy journalists didn’t play a role in your decision to stop writing about the situation. Too often, I’ve read your measured, carefully worded analysis only to see “journalists” regurgitate it either sensationally or out of context.
    (Hell, one website had you as the sole source proclaiming that Schumacher had been moved home. If the writer had actually read what you wrote, you said nothing of the kind. Your comment was far, far more nuanced.)
    Doc: I apologize for my lazy or stupid brethren.
    … And journalists wonder why it’s so hard to find professional, technical experts to serve as sources.
    Thanks again, sir.
    Colorado, USA

    • Bill,
      Since the accident there have been several neurosurgeons from various countries and other highly credentialed medical people quoted by the media who gave their assessments based on their experience with TBI, but, perhaps because of Dr. Hartstein’s connection to F1 and Schumacher, he’s the only one seen as the Ultimate Word. (despite his always saying he’s not!) He deserves high marks for bravery.
      I know that when I found his blog it was as though the mind police were thwarted.

  18. PS
    If some posts here have been deleted, maybe it is because people have written about other people, that maybe would not want to be written about. Maybe.

  19. Dear Dr Hartstein,
    Thank you. I began reading your blog after Michael Schumacher’s accident. You have raised my awareness and knowledge about head injury. I will continue to read your blog.

  20. Thank you so much Dr Gary for giving so many of us an insight into severe Brain Injury and for being here for us when no one else was. To me you have been a great light in a dark tunnel and I will always be thankful for that. I will continue to watch as you post other blogs.
    Kind regards

  21. Hi Dr Hartstein, Thank you for your informative posts. You wrote in your previous post that you were thinking of starting a video blog. One topic that I would find it very interesting for you to explore on a video blog and which I think would lend itself to the video blog format is the issue of the protection offered by helmets. I found your post on the energy involved in the Massa and Schumacher accidents and the level of protection their helmets offered very thought provoking. I enjoy participating in a bit of low level motorsport and followed Prof Sid Watkins advice that anyone who participates should use a FIA 8860 spec helmet even though the regulations do not require it due to the quantum step in safety it offers. It continues to surprise me that professional drivers I meet are often themselves surprised why I have spent so much on a helmet. I think explaining some of the research that when into development of that standard would be very interesting. I am also a keen cyclist and wouldn’t think of getting on my bike without my helmet. But the data on whether cycling helmets offer meaningful protection against brain injuries (as opposed to fractured skulls) seems somewhat equivocal. Your post on the Massa/Schumacher accidents was very enlightening in this regard. Unfortunately, as consumers, we seem to be captive of the government regulations that drive helmet design in a direction that doesn’t protect us against the most damaging injuries. A blog that explores some of these issues would be both extremely interesting and hopefully a catalyst for a broader debate on helmet safety.

    • I am also a keen cyclist and wouldn’t think of getting on my bike without my helmet. But the data on whether cycling helmets offer meaningful protection against brain injuries (as opposed to fractured skulls) seems somewhat equivocal.

      To say the least! It’s a very important topic that deserves more serious consideration by the press and public alike, especially if it’s actually true that mandatory helmet use (for certain age groups, iirc, and not universally) actually results in a worse public health outcome!

  22. I left you a comment and it hasn’t appeared!! Darn it!! I thought it was some of my best work too! 😉 I was speaking from personal experience regarding brain injuries (my mum suffered a ruptured Aneurysm) and whilst I’m not medically trained, I still thought my input was valid. Ah well 😦

    • Hi Anita …… I’m sure it was a glitch in the website. I’d really like to hear your story. The question of how aneurysms compare to head injuries was one I was going to ask the doc about once his YouTube was set up. I’d really like to hear the details. Did your mom survive? Where the doctors able to help her in time? Thank you.

      • Hi there,

        Wow, where do I start?! Yes, mum survived but I have to say that her initial recovery from such a potentially fatal event wasn’t the most challenging part. The recovery period AFTER, and when I say ‘period’, I really mean ‘years’ was the most challenging part. The medics unquestionably did a fantastic job of ‘fixing’ her and her stay in a rehabilitation unit unquestionably assisted in getting her to a level whereby she could function and care for herself on a daily basis but there’s no manual or set of instructions for the people around her to deal with the aftermath. This was a life-changing event, not only for her but the entire family unit. Our family has never been the same from this happened. Initially, when we realised that we weren’t going to lose her, we were grateful, overjoyed and thankful – as was she. Fast forward 6 years of dealing with this tremendously stressful and emotionally/physically draining experience and you’ve got a family that no longer resembles what it once was. Relations are strained, distant and terribly fragile.

        It’s for the above reasons that I’ve closely followed Michael Schumacher’s tragic accident. I know only too well what his family are going through and unfortunately, how challenging it is for both the patient and their family to try and recover from such a devastating event. It’s challenging emotionally, physically and mentally.

        Regarding my mum’s actual brain injury – yes, she suffered a brain haemorrhage, the result of a ruptured Aneurysm. She had no previous symptoms. She did however feel unwell the night before her brain haemorrhage occurred and went to bed early. She awoke the next morning to get ready for work and quite soon after standing up to get out of bed she collapsed. She was immediately unconscious. Myself and my sister were brought into one of ‘those’ family rooms to be told by the medical team that she was ‘deeply unconscious’ and had suffered a ‘moderate to severe’ brain haemorrhage. The medics were not prepared to operate that night because they did not feel that she was well enough. The consultant who did insert a drain to reduce the fluid around her brain did say in no uncertain terms that there was a strong possibility that she would not come around from the ‘comatose’ state that she was in.

        They did however operate the next day. When they operated they actually discovered two Aneurysms but couldn’t tell which one had ruptured. They coiled both of them. At this stage it was a waiting game. A horrible, torturous and soul-destroying waiting game. Mum was heavily sedated for a number of days before the medics decided to gradually reduce the sedation to establish the extent of her brain injury. I do specifically remember during this time willing her to open her eyes. PLEADING with her to squeeze my hand and whispering in her ear in the hope that she recognised my voice. Words cannot describe the fear, panic and stress on a family when they encounter an event like this. As the sedation was reduced she started to come around but she was highly agitated. She just kept moving her arms and legs randomly and her blood pressure increased. So they increased the sedation again. This happened a few times before the sedation was completely withdrawn. I will never forget the first time she opened her eyes and saw us. She was completely confused as to why she was in hospital. She had no recollection of collapsing. Unfortunately as the days progressed her level of consciousness was extremely varied (she still had the drain in her head to ease the pressure of fluid around her brain). One day she would recognise you and speak and the next day she would not be able to maintain eye contact and spoke incoherently. This was visibly very shocking and upsetting for her family to witness. And it was at times like this, that I would have appreciated better communication with the medics/consultants. They never sat us down as her family and EXPLAINED why she was behaving in this way. We were drip-fed information from the nursing staff and feeling like you’ve been left out of the loop at such an emotional and confusing time only adds to the high levels of stress that you are experiencing.

        On one occasion that I visited her she would not look at me. No matter how many times I called her name and told her who I was. She was lying on the side of the bed muttering nonsensical words over and over again. I asked the nurse why this was happening and was told that her levels of consciousness were varied due to the changing pressure of fluid around her brain. I was then told that she may need to have a Shunt fitted. I had to go home that night and Google ‘Shunt’. Actually, nearly every night I researched various topics relating to acquired brain injuries because the communication with the medical team was non-existent. Two weeks after her initial surgery to have the coils fitted she had to undergo another operation to have a Shunt fitted to address the symptoms associated with Hydrocephalus. This operation was a huge success. We had our mum back – when we saw her in the recovery room she spoke and acted just like her normal self.

        When she left hospital 3 months later she was in amazing shape considering what she had endured (that was 6 yrs ago). But she has deteriorated badly. Not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. I personally feel that when she started to suffer from seizures that they did a lot of damage. I read somewhere that if a person with a brain injury doesn’t suffer from seizures within 2 years of the brain injury occurring, the chances of them having seizures is greatly reduced. My mum suffered 3 Grand Mal seizures almost two years after her brain injury. She was unconscious and in ICU again. It took 2 years for the consultants to try and stabilise the seizures via the appropriate medication and I firmly believe that the seizures she had during this time had a detrimental effect on her physically and mentally. There’s so much more I could say but I think I’ve muttered quite enough for now!

        I’m sorry to have taken up so much space on your blog, Gary!

    • Thanks for your long post Anita. For me, mostly, coz I’m sure lots will chime in to thank you also. Fascinating and difficult story – but this is what it’s all about for the victims and loved ones of devastating brain injuries. Your energy in sharing with us is so appreciated.

      • You are very welcome, Gary. Although, I’m sure nothing I said was a surprise to you considering your wealth of knowledge in this field!

        No problem, Sue. It was actually quite a cathartic experience to share 🙂

    • When she left hospital 3 months later she was in amazing shape considering what she had endured (that was 6 yrs ago). But she has deteriorated badly. Not just physically but also mentally and emotionally.

      Dear Anita:. Nothing I or anyone else can say or do will change what it is you and your family have endured and still face, but perhaps you can take a measure of strength from knowing that others have read your words and taken time to consider your story. And what the heck – I’m sending you encouragement sympathy and positive energy!! (look for it in the Post on Tuesday! hehe 😉 )

      PS. Just a tip for commenting on blogs, especially when your comment is a long one, that you’ve spent lots of time composing: before you click on the “publish” or “Post Comment” button, highlight and select ALL of the text of your comment that you just spent all that time on, copy it to the “clipboard”, and either hold it there until you see your comment has actually been posted to the site, or paste it into your computer’s “notepad” program (and there could be dozens of programs for notes, and apps that have “notes” functions in them). I, too, have lost comments that represented some of my best writing b/c there was an error or glitch during the posting process, so I’ve gotten into the habit of copying everything so as not to have to re-type!

      • Joe, thank you so much for taking the time to read my ramblings and especially for taking the time to reply. I will gladly receive your encouragement and positive energy 🙂

        Thanks for that tip too! It has been mentally noted!

        I saw your reply to a different comment on here about not wanting to see any imagery of Michael in his current state. I understand your feelings on this issue. I remember seeing a Christopher Reeve documentary filmed while he was still alive and I found it very difficult to watch – the irony of what happened to him in comparison to the ‘Superhero’ he portrayed is not lost on me. It’s very saddening to witness the physical (and mental) decline of an individual when you can clearly remember how they used to be. I know this from personal experience too.

        I watched a Senna documentary a few years back (I like documentaries!) and saw the footage (on the track) you referred to. Completely heart-wrenching to watch.

  23. Thank you for helping us make sense of this awful situation, and I completely understand why you feel the need to not report any more.

    I’ve been a Schumacher fan for over 20 years, and as terrible as it sounds I feel as though I have to let him go now and accept that we will probably not hear any more of him.

  24. Thank you for putting yourself out there to help us F1 fans understand this sad situation. I greatly appreciate your insight and knowledge you shared with us these last five months.

    Looking forward to reading your future non-Schumacher posts.

  25. Its been fascinating reading your blogs about Schumacher, you have given a real insight into serious head trauma, and I thank you for that. I hope you will not giving up blogging per se, as I always read yours and enjoy reading about motorsport from your perspective.

  26. Thanks Dr Gary
    For the understandable info u gave us during these months..
    Keep upp the fantastic work in your daily work ..
    Greets from a Fan up North in Sweden..

  27. Dear Gary

    I too wish to extend to you my sincere thanks and gratitude for all that you have shared and given to us. Your willingness, maybe even need, to stick your neck out, is so appreciated by many many more than add their $0.02 on your blog and give of their own uniqueness.

    I also want you to know that my – fortunately very brief – personal experience with a “mild” concussion recently was a real wake up call to the horrific reality of TBI and the oh-so-deadly dangerous- effects. Today, I worry so much about little children playing football and other sports without really effective protection, many cheered on by truly thoughtless, ignorant, family members and educational institutions.

    As for me, two weeks have passed and yet some very light and fleeting symptoms still come and go. Dr. said I could expect such for two months, maybe even longer. AND MICHAEL SUFFERED SIGNIFICANTLY SO MUCH MORE, SO MUCH MORE; very what may be an eventually non survivable injury. I only wish that whoever’s in charge could be more forthcoming and courageous – that choice would help so many.

    Please pardon the loquacious letter to you…just a few more items:

    1. When I saw words from your last post stolen, albeit in quotation marks, I wondered…How long is Gary going to put up with this???

    2. I have every confidence that should anything change you would be racing to your computer with a “new post.” Essentially, it’s a given, predictable.

    3. I hope that you will continue with your new blog commentary as a F1 Doctor and that you will find your way to writing a book; you are an excellent writer and to not share your experiences as such is truly a significant loss to all of us as well as so many others out-there.

    Lastly, this has been my first experience with blogging and I truly feel that I have made blog friends; that if I ran into Peter K, for example, I would give him a huge hug… Jason too. I have even enjoyed meeting so many of the women, Liza, Mimi, Sue, Jan, Lulu and so many others. If I left your name out, please do not take it personally.

    So for me, Dr. Gary Harstein, (and of course you would get a big hug too), thank you for the opportunity to participate and learn and share. I will stay on board as I know others will. Without hesitation, I thank you from my heart.
    Spiritual Blessings to everyone (that should leave no one out).


    • KC, glad to hear that you are on the mend and trust you are on your way to a full recovery. I too had a fall a few years ago which rendered me unconcious for a very short time and suffered a mild concussion. Because of the job I do, I work in a court and have seen many cases where a single punch led to a fall and subsequent death, I am all too aware of how serious any head injury can be. I am so glad that you took immediate action and would urge anyone suffering the same fate to seek immediate help no matter how insignificant the accident may seem. KC take good care of yourself. Xxx

      Doc, thanks for all you have shared with us, what would we have done without you during these past months? I know that sometime in the future when there is something to say you will be there for us again guiding us through. Xx

      • Hi Sue ….. I’m so sorry I haven’t gotten back to you. I was in the hospital all day & I’m just not feeling well but I’d really wish you would share your story. Its sounded quite serious especially when you mentioned you were unconscious. That MUST have been scary. Once again, its almost 5am here & I’m beat. I will address your very kind message to me from yesterday. I for one would really like to hear all about it & how long ago it was. Such a dear girl you are. I feel especially feel close to you, I guess because we both got close to Michael. BTW, where are you from? what time zone actually. “talk” to you tomorrow.
        Many Hugs & loving energy.

  28. Thank for all that you’ve written so far Gary and I completely understand your decision. Looking forward to reading your posts on team mate relationships and the rest of the track intervention stories. Like many others, I started reading your blog when Michael had his accident, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the rest of it too.

  29. Thank you Sir, I have followed your posts regarding Michael and believe you are spot on. So sad. I
    Will continue to follow your blog with interest

  30. Doc, thank you for bringing us into the light.
    And you are right, there is nothing more to say at this time. Perhaps, at some point there will be.
    Until then……………………………..

  31. Thank You Gary,
    This tragedy has led to plenty of reckless speculation and conjecture in the international media. Your unique insight into this field, and of course personal relationship with Schumacher himself, have made your Postings the #1 source of what is ‘most likely’ going on, and the only place where true fans of the sport can come to terms with the accident and possible outcomes. I’ll look forward to your continued Tweets on all things F1 and otherwise. Now come on over to Montreal this weekend – I’m leaving tomorrow – Cheers!

  32. Re injury and concussions, Kimi Raikkonen said that the push for safety impinges on the ability to go as fast as the drivers want. (post Monaco interview via BBC) Is there a drivers’ safety group like there was years ago?

    • Of course, he’s eight, but would you fancy hustling ThrustSSC around the streets of Monaco? Yes I know I am being absurd, by the way. :). There is the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) that Jenson Button is currently chairman of.

      • “Of course, he’s eight, but would you fancy hustling ThrustSSC around the streets of Monaco? Yes I know I am being absurd, by the way. :). There is the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) that Jenson Button is currently chairman of. . .

        “Right, not eight!”

        You stopped me in my tracks with “eight” – wondering if you meant he’s like an eight year old? (kind of immature); or an 8 out of 10? (better than middling, but could use improvement)
        As for “Right” I can only say that Kimi is always right. I quote him regularly. . YouTube has several pages of Kimi Quoted
        Thanks for GPDA info – of course the bottom line is the boys just want to go fast.


  33. I think Gary’s current position is entirely logical. MS is on that graph shown in the previous article.

    Without further information there is no where for that discussion to go except in interminable cycles. We know the distribution of opinions – we have seen it from the very beginning of some of the earlier articles as well as in the comments sections of the various media “newspapers”. People are not going to change significantly their position, they just get more emotional and “expressive” in stating it. Sometimes people can hold differing opinions yet in their own way they are right or partly right or have a valid point.

    But as we can see everything that could have been said has been said and in that environment there is also occasion for some really inappropriate comment to appear followed by escalation followed by complete breakdown and some very upset people.

    There are many places on the web for people to express personal opinion but there are few to no places on the web where you can get access to the expertise, experience and knowledge base of Dr Gary Hartstein.

  34. Hi Gary
    Just wanted to say a heartfelt “thank you” for your factual and informative posts (almost alone in a sea of terrible and sensationalist ‘journalism’). I was first taken with your ‘style’ when I saw the video you posted, was it last year?, dealing with the whole FIA thing and then, more recently, when Michael had his terrible accident.
    I have always been somewhat of a pessimist regarding the outcome of his treatment and, as the days go by, it seems that there will never be any more good news, other than, perhaps, the news of his ‘release’ from the awful situation he and his family are in.
    And yes, I understand the logic behind your ‘no more posts’ decision and it makes sense under these circumstances.
    So, a huge thank you for helping those of us who read your blog understand the harsh realities of head trauma more, and for the work you are doing to make the world more aware of this injury. I shall continue to read what you post as I like the trace of your mentation and I look forward to the video blog as and when.

  35. Respect your decision on this doc. Infact its harder to stop than it would be to continue. Untill they tell is more what can really be said. Its almost as if they can’t allow him to be seen not being the man he was. . Shame really as we can’t give our support to the man as he is now just like we could with Christopher Reeve who proved you can still be a force for good no matter what happens.

    • Its almost as if they can’t allow him to be seen not being the man he was.

      While I’ve been frustrated and disappointed with the obfuscation of Michael’s condition by Kehm’s stonewalling, I do agree 100% w/ any policy – if it exists – of NOT permitting recording of video or audio footage (let alone publication!) of a comatosed or cucumber-like Schumacher.

      If his condition is truly as dire as would seem, and recovery as unlikely as Dr. Hartstein has suggested, then just like Senna’s family succeeded in preventing any imagery of the Champion’s shattered physical form to be published (excluding, of course, the helicopter footage that was broadcast live during the emergency on-track recovery, extraction, treatment and evacuation process, which still unfortunately showed a pool of blood on the track), I hope never to see a picture or clip of an unconscious, wasting Michael Schumacher. What would be the point of seeing such a ghastly image?

      (And note that I refused to watch the final few seconds of Prince Oberyn’s death in the latest episode of Game of Thrones, avoiding even the visages of his distraught paramour and especially muting the audio of his screams. See? I even know what happened, but have no desire to actually consume such gratuitously violent and disturbing content (and that’s from a show that’s turned pointless, over-the-top violence and suffering into its calling-card)…)

  36. Dear Gary,
    Your blog has been a beacon of reasoned thought and discussion throughout, based on your own decades of experience and sound epidemiology. Your writing cut through the noise and gave many people the ability to make sense of what was a very difficult situation to comprehend. I for one will always appreciate you taking the time to communicate so effectively, and agree that on an evidentiary basis there’s little left to be said on the matter.

    One looks forward to your future writings and sends you the very best.


  37. Please keep posting.

    If it were me in PVS (may I never be) for many months with very bleak and very dim chances of recovery, and sure certainty that my family is devastated and gets more devastated as time passes (may I rather be among those who pass away relatively quickly) there is only one source of solace I am capable of imagining. That I were some sort of public figure and that someone would talk about it, to raise awareness about TBI in the general population and among first responders, improve standards of care, improve passive protections which often are placebo and sometimes worse than wearing nothing. It is particularly chilling if the staff and bodyguards did something out of ignorance which they would not have done had they known. Perhaps, just perhaps, maybe just for a single person your posts and information can make a difference. I urge you to reconsider.

  38. Hello Gary. I, like many others, found your blog after Michaels tragic accident and thereafter followed you avidly for your calm insight into what may or may not be happening. Since that time however, I have found that the content of your blog helps me – as a lay person – understand much more about all kinds of trauma to the body. But more than that I find your arguments for the improvement of safety equipment absolutely riveting. Please keep on doing what you’re doing.

  39. Why?

    If there is anyone out there that professionally qualifies to make a comment on such a matter then it is you.

    Why bow to pressure? The majority don’t look at life through rose coloured specs and most respect your opinion both personal and professionally and deep down they know what you are stating is pretty much close as it gets to the truth.

    • Hi Sally. This has nothing to do with pressure. It just has to do with . . . there not being anything I can bring to this story.

      If something comes up that would stand with some explaining, don’t worry, I’ll pick it up.

      • This has nothing to do with pressure. It just has to do with . . . there not being anything I can bring to this story.

        If something comes up that would stand with some explaining, don’t worry, I’ll pick it up.

        With this being the case…Whew! What more can we loyal readers ask of you, Doc?

        A Vlog would be great, btw, but here I think whatever you write about will make for interesting and engaging content. You’ve just got a special something, a certain flair, acute mental insight and a fantastic wit that, added-up, translates into fascinating reading!

        I was going to thank you in a separate comment but I’ll just do it here: Dr. Hartstein, thank you informing and advising and educating and entertaining me with your wonderful writing, even as you’ve had to consider some very serious, sensitive topics, and deal with an audience that’s not been entirely appreciative of your efforts (though most seem to be!)!


        PS. thx also for all the late-night/early-morning (for me) encouragement via Twitter! lol.

      • OK that was probably not the best terminology I could have used, but nice to hear that you will comment when or if needed.

        I would prefer, as I am sure many others would to hear your thoughts and opinion on potential developments rather than some tabloid journalist that really doesn’t have a first clue.

        But, and I hate to be negative but the only news we will here from now on is, I’m afraid, going to be bad news…..

    • I think it’s not so much pressure to stop, just that there’s nothing really left to comment on. It’s a shame, but it’s better all round to move on to other things.

  40. Well done doc. As you say, it feels its all been said until we here more from his people. The geek in me wants to hear more on the intervention at the track series you had started. Your opinions in teammate relations would be interesting too:)

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