Golden Dawn (a new book)

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GOLDEN DAWN

Prologue

The young driver lay in a deep deep coma, lingering on the cusp between life and death. Hour after hour, day after long day passed as the dedicated young nurses in the Intensive Care unit at the famous Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa watched for any semblance of movement on the casualty’s still young and bleeding body, pierced with tubes connected to medical equipment.

And up on the slopes of Devil’s Peak in the shadow of Table Mountain the schoolboy slept on and on, drifting into a deeper foggy haze of unconsciousness… totally unaware of the concerned thoughts and prayers of his loving parents (and some good friends) who kept a vigil by his bedside… day after long day, then into the month of May in the year 1965. The very best mom and dad that any child could wish for!

And in the haze the young boy dreamed on… and on…

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HE WOULD NOT WAKE UP PROPERLY FOR 38 DAYS!

From: STIRLING MOSS: The Authorised Biography by Robert Edwards (Published by Cassell & Co, UK)

Stirling Moss was in a coma for 38 days in Atkinson Morley Hospital, London

And many people throughout the world prayed for the star driver’s healing… a collective appeal to Christ. Perhaps one of them was even a concerned young boy in Clovelly, Cape Town, South Africa.

Moss’s inability to speak was confusing, although the physical injuries were more familiar.

He did not immediately notice that he was effectively paralysed. The physical damage to the left side of his body was made worse by the fact he could not move it, the massive bruising his brain had received had to heal first. This would be frustrating to say the least, particularly since the extent of his injuries were not initially revealed to him. The patient assumed that he could not move because he was injured, rather than because his brain would simply not allow it. His friend, David Haynes finally revealed the truth; although it depressed Stirling, it also caused him to fight his condition harder, initially to no avail.

The neurology department closely monitored his progress. And these are the words of one occupational therapist:

“We didn’t know very much about motor racing, of course; but none of us really thought he would ever drive again – he had been so very badly hurt, but he tried so hard.”

Very slowly, he started to recover some motor function, and as the bruised brain gradually repaired itself, he was more and more able to push himself physically, even within the confines of a wheelchair.

As the physical injuries started to heal and the papers became full of optomistic stories concerning Stirling’s imminent return to racing, he turned to his colleague Berenice Krikler, the resident clinical psychologist at Atkinson Morley. But what condition was he really in?

Krikler knew next to nothing about motor racing (that would soon change) and therefore lacked any kind of benchmark against which to measure Stirling’s attributes. However a number of Grand Prix drivers, such as Innes Ireland, Graham Hill, Bruce  McLaren, Roy Salvadori and Jack Brabham offered their services to construct the sort of baseline, which she needed as a starting point.

The essence of her study was a series of reactive, cognitive and personality observations, using both the racing drivers and a control sample of intelligent and experienced motorists. She sought some standard by which Stirling could be judged.

As she collated and analysed the results, it became quite clear to Krikler that by these measures Stirling had better not get back into a racing car. On the section of the test concerning visual co-ordination and concentration, Stirling scored the maximum measurable deficit against the control groups.  When she told him, he clearly did not fully appreciate what had happened to him, nor did he (or anyone else, for that matter) , have any idea whether this would be a permanent or shifting state.

The report was kept confidential at the time, but was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in February 1965, nearly three years after Stirling’s crash.

So whilst the press speculated in the “silly season” of late summer and early autumn about Stirling’s imminent return to motor racing, the cruel reality was that he had to lean up against a wall to put his socks on in the morning, he was unable to see straight and was virtually incapable of making properly understood.

He left Atkinson Morley on 20th July 1962.

His affable personality had changed; so he got easily frustrated and angry. Stirling was still extremely unwell, but did not realise it. His ability to accept the damage done by him to the Goodwood injuries extended only to the idea that he had been slowed down a little, that his reflexes and concentration had obviously suffered and that he might, one day, readress the matter of racing. In terms of the effect upon the rest of his activities, he was outwardly dismissive and quite unable to come to terms with the reality of what had happened to him.  In truth, the cause of what had happened interested him rather more than the resultant damage which had been inflicted upon him.

But Berenice Krikler’s clinical report, which Stirling was most reluctant to read, stated quite firmly and categorically that he was brain damaged. He was not mad or crazy, but he was severly injured. Those around him, both professionally and personally, could see it; he could not or would not. If it made his friends more protective (and they remain so to this day) then this produced in him a form of obstinacy, which when combined with his own natural impulsiveness, could lead him into perilous territory.

As Ken Gregory (his manager) put it: “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the man who came out of the Atkinson Morley was not the same man who went in.” Brain injuries are terrible things, and not only because of their obvious effects. Their victims frequently cannot grasp what has happened. In Stirling’s case, perhaps because the issues were not properly explained to him in physical terms that he could relate to, he chose to press on regardless. It would cost him dear.

Meanwhile Berenice had also observed him well enough to know that his own sense of perfectionism would not allow him to delude himself about any shortcomings in his performance. She had noted in her report that: “Racing drivers differ significantly from the controls (the regular motorists) in that they are more stable in their judgement of their performance. With racing drivers there is a trend towards a higher level of aspiration.”

His co-ordination was still a ragged shadow of its former  self, but felt he needed to earn a living as well as to concentrate.

After testing a Lotus 19 sports car, he realised with a dawning sense of horror that Berenice Krikler had been exactly right in her assessment (and later, as they became better acquainted, that her confidence in his own acuity about himself had also been spot on). All the flowing instincts, the unthinking balancing, unbalancing and rebalancing of the car were absent. If his relationship with a racing car had once been a sensuous dance, it was now more like a vaguely recalled hop with a mere acquaintance. There was no flow. It was  a disjointed, disconnecting experience… thoroughly depressing.

This was a devastating revelation for him.

From: STIRLING MOSS: The Authorised Biography by Robert Edwards (Published by Cassell & Co, UK)

And Stirling by Craig Lock [Kindle Edition]

Available at http://www.amazon.com/Stirling-Craig-Lock-ebook/dp/B004YTT4GO

Also from Golden Dawn (a book to be written)

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About craig lock

About the Author Craig has a 'passion' for writing books that tell stories about people doing positive things in this often so hard, sometimes unkind world, occasionally cruel, yet always amazing world - true stories that leave the reader feeling uplifted, empowered and hopefully even inspired. https://www.createspace.com/3779691/ and http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 Craig Lock loves to encourage and empower people to be the best they can possibly be, and to create what they want in life. Craig has learnt plenty from the "school of life" (still "battered and bruised") and also from a few "hard knocks on the head". He is an extensive world traveller (on a "shoestring budget") and failed professional emigrater who has spent most of his lifes savings on airfares. He is still sliding down the razor blade of life on the beautiful undiscovered island that is New Zealand, somewhere near the bottom (rude!) of the world near Antarctica. There he talks to the 60 million sheep! Craig has been involved in the corporate world (life assurance) for over twenty years in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. However, through a strange set of circumstances and finding himself in a small town near the bottom of the world ...and with nothing else to do, he started writing. That was five years ago. Five published books later and having written another twenty manuscripts (on widely differing subjects - well what else is there to do here?)... this is where Craig is in the "journey/adventure" that is life. Craig has taught at the local Polytechnic, as well as running a successful creative writing course (not teaching sheep!). He was the author of (as far as we know) the first creative writing course on the internet Craig has many varied interests and passions. He is particularly interested in the field of psychology – studying the human mind and what makes different people "tick-tock grandfather clock". He is fascinated by the "overlap between psychology and the dimension of spirituality". One of his missions in life is helping people make the most of their hidden potential and so finding their niche in life... so that they are happy. Craig’s various books probably tell more about his rather "eventful" life best (no one could believe it!). He writes books with serious messages and themes, then as a contrast "rather crazy, wacky stuff"…to keep him sane here. As an ‘anonymouse’ person wrote: "All of us are born mad; some of us remain so." Well nothing else much happens in quiet provincial New Zealand, other than headlines like "Golf Ball Thrown at Policeman" (it missed, btw!) and "Beach Toilet Closed for Season." True! The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at ebooks (digital books) http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock Paperbacks (see https://goldendawnpublishing.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/paperback-writer/ and https://wanttowriteabook.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/paperback-writer-the-beatles/ https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=%22craig+lock%22&sitesearch_type=STORE https://www.amazon.com/Craig-Lock/e/B005GGMAW4/ref=pe_584750_33951330_sr_tc_2_0?qid=1476388259&sr=1-2-ent http://www.creativekiwis.com/index.php/books and http://goo.gl/vTpjk All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children – MINE! “When the writer is no more , the value of your purchase will soar! “ “Together, one mind, one life (one small step at a time), let’s see how many people (and lives) we can encourage, impact, empower, enrich, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials…and strive for and perhaps one sunny day even achieve their wildest dreams.” PPS Don’t worry about the world ending today… as it’s already tomorrow in scenic and tranquil ‘little’ New Zealand
This entry was posted in brain injury, brain injury survivors, Craig's books, Head (brain injury), hope, My Story, Stirling by craig lock, Stirling Moss, writers and brain injury, writers and head injury and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Golden Dawn (a new book)

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  2. Security Guard Paul Motshabi was permanently disabled when he was beaten up in 1996. He was crippled and intellectually impaired by brain damage sustained in the attack, and his wife left him. He was one of 16 victims of violence in the South Africa’s North West who received new houses as part of the national government’s campaign to mark sixteen days of activism against violence against women and children.

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