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"Chiacchia rebuilding life after near-fatal fall at Red Hills" - article

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  • "Chiacchia rebuilding life after near-fatal fall at Red Hills" - article

    From the Tallahassee Democrat: "Chiacchia rebuilding life after near-fatal fall at Red Hills"

    I usually excerpt from articles I link to but this one deserves a full reading.

    Look, here we have someone saying he's still feeling the effects of his TBI, admitting it takes 'years' to recover from a TBI, saying people would 'get' how he really feels if he were 'in a wheelchair or walking around in a cast' -- and then saying he's disappointed he couldn't ride three horses at now-canceled Red Hills and wondering why he hasn't been welcomed back to the sport with open arms.

    If you're wheelchair-bound or have a body part in a cast, you shouldn't be out there competing in recognized events. If your brain is impaired to either of these equivalencies, you shouldn't be out there competing in recognized events.

    Even if your neurologist 'cleared' you, and you still report feeling impaired -- YOU SHOULD NOT BE COMPETING IN EVENTING. Or in anything aside from a therapeutic/para program. And that's for your own safety as well as the safety of your fellow competitors, officials, volunteers, spectators and horses.


  • #2


    Has he ever even said THANK YOU to the eventing community and raising that $200k for his medical bills?????

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    • #3
      Does anyone want to do a fundraiser for my lymes treatment that is $6,000 a week but is making be able to ride again? Or for my multiple ankle surgeries from a horse falling?

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      • #4
        Well - that was a missed opportunity. Some people improve after brain damage.
        ... _. ._ .._. .._

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        • #5
          I mean seriously....He COULD be saying, "Yes, it's been a rough emotional road back but I have been blessed by the eventing community who raised $200k for me to pay my medical bills....How's THAT for lucky????"

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          • #6
            I like the non related copy that looks like it goes with his picture: "Train Disaster"

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            • #7
              My biggest problem right now is that I just told my boyfriend about that incident and I think he wants me to stop riding....fear for my life or something...poor guy (He's not currently horsey, I'm working on it).

              Overall-guy seems to be very delusional and in denial about his issue. As far as the people he mentioned that left him - I can see those close to him realizing they need to separate themselves from him, much like someone needs to stop enabling and separate themselves from a drug addict. He's just another kind of addict.

              I do hope he recovers and lives a long life, but he needs to face reality first.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ajierene View Post
                Overall-guy seems to be very delusional and in denial about his issue. As far as the people he mentioned that left him - I can see those close to him realizing they need to separate themselves from him, much like someone needs to stop enabling and separate themselves from a drug addict. He's just another kind of addict.

                I do hope he recovers and lives a long life, but he needs to face reality first.
                Well stated. The media also needs to get their facts right. Tomorrow March 15 is one year since the accident. The article stated " one year and one day" since the accident. They only mention his mom and sister by his bedside when in fact it was his mom, brother, and 2 sisters that were with him everyday.
                Media need to have facts straight before any type of interview.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by joharavhf View Post


                  Has he ever even said THANK YOU to the eventing community and raising that $200k for his medical bills?????

                  I am afraid not.

                  At a recent run in while we were doing data collection for the speed study, DC ranted that he has done a tremendous amount of work at making the sport safer and that NOBODY appreciates his work and that it was all so unfair. Oh, it was a sight.

                  Reed

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by joharavhf View Post


                    Has he ever even said THANK YOU to the eventing community and raising that $200k for his medical bills?????
                    That's because he's DARREN, and he's ENTITLED, donja know!!!

                    Never known him to be humble, and don't see why he'd start now...

                    -Jessica

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                    • #11
                      I liked the article. A loss of confidence and ability can be a tough thing for an athlete's mind to get a grip on. I know people are pretty POed that he went back to riding right away but that was his decision and maybe it was something he had to do for himself. Sometimes people just have to do things regardless of what anyone says about it and sometimes it turns out okay.

                      I think he should be congratulated on his win regarless of what people's personal feelings about the guy are. It is a big achievement for him or for anyone to win an advanced.

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                      • #12
                        I don't know him personally, but I did read an article where it stated...

                        Darren said he owes much of his rapid, safe homecoming to his long-time best friend Chester Weber, and all of the coaches who helped keep the Chiacchia business running during his recuperation, as well as his forever-dedicated assistant and friend Cristin Stoop. "And I wouldn't be having this conversation today without Rusty Lowe and the medical response team at Red Hills," he said. Also Darren thanks the neurology Team led by one of the nation's leading neurologist Dr. Peter Kinkel.

                        "I absolutely have to thank my mom and family who have been by my side through the entire ordeal and all the members of Team Chiacchia. That means everyone," Darren went on, "And literally, the thousands of people who sent their support through donations, and well-wishing, and just being there for me."

                        ... I'm sure he is still a d**che like everyone is saying, but nonetheless, the media can have a way of leaving statements out to paint a certain view.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Hony View Post
                          Sometimes people just have to do things regardless of what anyone says about it and sometimes it turns out okay.
                          Oh right. Just like drunk driving.



                          (What you've described is probably the most common justification for operating a vehicle while impaired.)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            DC said most of this long after people finally raised a ruckus about his inconsiderate attitude over the past year. So, in my perspective, all of that is damage control.

                            Reed


                            Originally posted by BeesyBee View Post
                            I don't know him personally, but I did read an article where it stated...

                            Darren said he owes much of his rapid, safe homecoming to his long-time best friend Chester Weber, and all of the coaches who helped keep the Chiacchia business running during his recuperation, as well as his forever-dedicated assistant and friend Cristin Stoop. "And I wouldn't be having this conversation today without Rusty Lowe and the medical response team at Red Hills," he said. Also Darren thanks the neurology Team led by one of the nation's leading neurologist Dr. Peter Kinkel.

                            "I absolutely have to thank my mom and family who have been by my side through the entire ordeal and all the members of Team Chiacchia. That means everyone," Darren went on, "And literally, the thousands of people who sent their support through donations, and well-wishing, and just being there for me."

                            ... I'm sure he is still a d**che like everyone is saying, but nonetheless, the media can have a way of leaving statements out to paint a certain view.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I really think the driving issue behind this article is that people aren't talking about him anymore. I'm sure he was getting used to all the attention, getting to tell people stories about how he had an "out of body experience" and now people don't really care all that much.

                              my interpretation; he's a tool.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I try to stay out of these threads but the part about "it would be easier if I were in a wheelchair....." is a slap in the face to many many people who would gladly trade places with him. I sure hope, for his sake this is a case where the media took a statement out of context and it ended up as it was printed vs. what he truly stated.
                                Last edited by Hannahsmom; Mar. 15, 2009, 09:06 AM.

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                                • #17
                                  I agree on the wheelchair statement. Many others have been forced into wheelchairs and undoubtedly lost their businesses. Dealing with some confidence loss and fatigue is nothing compared to dealing with what Christopher Reeves dealt with. It would be easier in a wheelchair. I'm sorry- but what a $%^&^ing p^&*% and what an awful statement.

                                  DC is a very lucky man- the fact he gets to take another ride, the money, the fact that he still has some business.... shit, the fact that he ever had a business to begin with. Nothing is worse than listening to relatively well paid equestrian professionals complain about their lot in life.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Hannahsmom View Post
                                    I try to stay out of these threads but the part about "it would be easier if I were in a wheelchair....." is a slap in the face to many many people who would gladly trade places with him. I sure hope, for his sake this is a case where the media took a statement out of context and it ended up as it was printed vs. what he truly stated.
                                    Not defending him, but I THINK the wheelchair statement was that his impairments are invisible to outsiders and if he were in a wheelchair or had a cast on other people would see the problem.

                                    It is sort of like the people that have some kind of heart or breathing problame and get wheelchair plates because they can't walk far, then people that don't know think they are playing the system to get prefered parking and harass them.

                                    Christa

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                                    • #19
                                      When I broke my ankle and leg I lost all of my students and all of my training horses. It took 5 years of surgeries and injections to get me to the point I could jump again without blinding pain. I had just started to build up my buissness again when I got advanced lymes disease, to only have everything I had started to gain back again lost. He is lucky to be able to ride and compete again so soon. He should be thankful not complaining. But I guess when it happens to the small trainers it is not a big deal.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have to take exception with those who say he didn't thank people. I participated in the Silent Auction and won several items and I received a very nice card from him.

                                        I would also state the following. HEAD INJURIES HAVE A SIGNIFICANT AFFECT ON PEOPLE. My brother was hit by a car and had severe head trauma - it took a very long time for him to completely recover. Through that time his personality, memory and temperament went through many changes.

                                        I don't know the reasons the people he cited left his life - but have a little empathy people it's a lonely place to be when your facing a completely different life and people in your life move on. I'll bet some of you have had a boyfriend walk out on you and you had more negative comments than noted in this article!

                                        And I do think people took the wheelchair comment the wrong way. Internal or brain injuries aren't OBVIOUS and I see no purpose in those who posted on here to be mean or judgemental. I have no idea how I would have handled a situation like this but I do know this - when I came off a young horse and broke my back and had severe damage to my right hip - I was told by my Doctor that I should absolutely NOT GET ON A HORSE FOR AT LEAST 4 MONTHS. I KNEW if I waited that long I would never ride again - so I ignored his advice and got on my big DWB boy the very next day and spent months just walking around on this back.

                                        And having a big ego is something that exists in the majority of top riders....actually most top athletes.
                                        Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                                        "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

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