Friday, February 9, 2024

A few Drivers with Heart issues

Who’ve obviously had different life outcomes…


Naturally, as I’ve scribbled previously here upon No Fenders, Gil de Ferran’s unexpected Death on December 29, 2023 at age 56 was a total shock for Mwah! For which sent a Chill down my spine, especially since I was awaiting Open Heart surgery when Gil unexpectedly died!


I’m sure there’s been countless more racing drivers with Heart issues over the 37-odd years I’ve been dutifully following motor racing! But off the cuff I’m hard pressed to come up with many names. With only two popping up upon my internal Jukebox.


Obviously the most famous would be ‘Ol shel’, aka Carroll Shelby. As this legendous’ Texan raced with nitroglycerin tablets underneath His tongue, in case of having a Heart Attack whilst racing!


Nevertheless, Shelby who’s more famous for His Shelby cobra’s and winning the 24 Heurs du Mans as leader of Shelby American, Spearheading FoMoco’s (Ford Motor company) victories in 1966-67. Recently being immortalized in the 2019 film Ford v Ferrari, also won Le Mans as a driver in 1959 for Aston Martin with Roy Salvadori.


Shelby suffered from serious Heart issues for many hears before finally receiving His long awaited Heart transplant in 1990. Also having a Kidney transplant in 1996, before dying at age 89 in 2012.


As Shelby’s the only person I’ve paid for an autograph. Doing so in 1997 at Laguna Seca’s Monterey Historics. Where I readily agreed to pay $25.00 which was entirely donated to His Childrens Heart Fund! With ‘Ol shel’ doing His Texan bit by drawling son, what’s your name as I handed Him my Historics program.


The only other driver I could come up with, and I had to “google” His name, since I’d long forgotten the RASSCAR’ driver! Was Brian Vickers, who I knew once drove for the Red Bull Racing NASCAR team, which also featured A.J. Allmendinger, Scott Speed and others.


Vickers, whose now 40yrs old, ultimately had to retire from racing after suffering a bout of numerous Blood Clots before going on Blood “thinners”, which I’m told is misleading nomenclature! And really should be called Blood “Slipperiers” instead. Which I myself unfortunately have begun taking for life following my mechanical Heart valve replacement surgery…


And like De Ferran’s lifelong friend tony Kanaan said, although it was actually His wife Lauren who said you’re getting a Check-up! With TK’ admitting racing drivers are Athletes who Don’t go to the Doctor’s…


Whilst I never thought I’d be doing so myself here upon No Fenders, But! If you’re feeling Bad or not well like Gil was, then get yourself check out by a doctor immediately!


And if you have any sort of Heart palpitations or Arrythmia that lasts over five minutes like I did, (twice) Dial 911! As I feel extremely lucky that I got away with ignoring my first elongated Heart palpitation episode.


For which my Heart, Brain and body said five days later, apparently you didn’t get the Memo we sent you dude! Which like I said before, scared the Crap outta me!


And then, if like Mwah.  Having to persistently barrage my Primary Care Physician (PCP) throughout my ordeal, stay determined! Like seriously Dude, you want to know why I want a referral to a Cardiologist? Can you say severe Aortic stenosis, WTF!


Yeah, it’s Freakin’ fantastic becoming Old, cough-cough!


Naturally, that was what I’d uploaded onto Ye Blob’ a day earlier. Before hearing via my ESPN Online Motorsports Headlines news feed about Wilson Fittipaldi Jr.


As the 80 year old brother of Emerson suffered Cardiac Arrest on Christmas Day, also being Wilson’s birthday! As His wife later reported on His Instagram page, Her Husband had choked on a piece of meat whilst celebrating His 80th birthday before going into Cardiac Arrest!


Wilson was subsequently resuscitated and taken to Hospital where He was sedated and intubated, awaiting recovery. As Wilson’s son Christian Fittipaldi was at Hospital with Him…


Wilson raced in 38 Grands Prix, along with creating the Fittipaldi Copersucur F1 Team that competed between 1974-82. Briefly racing alongside His brother, Two-times Formula 1 World Champion. With Emerson further winning the Indianapolis 500 twice and the CART/IndyCar Championship once.


As hopefully Wilson’s made a speedy recovery since this incident! Making me ponder what is it about former Brazilian racing drivers? With these two incidents occurring four days apart…