Hugo Dittfach Traumatic brain injury
HUGO DITTFACH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Hugo Dittfach is a Hall of Fame Jockey with 4000 wins to his credit in Canada and internationally. He is in the Racing Hall of Fame and the first to receive the cherished “Sovereign Award”.
Hugo represented jockeys for more than twenty five years and was always willing to help others to obtain success in the industry. NOW, Hugo is need of help to recover from a traumatic brain injury.
Seven and one half years ago he suffered a traumatic brain injury while at work at Woodbine racetrack. As Hugo was getting on a horse as a favor to another trainer, The horse began bucking in the shedrow and with each jump Hugo was either kicked in the head or the chest. He was taken by ambulance to Etobicoke General Hospital and immediately transferred to Sunnybrook Hospital, the top trauma centre in Ontario.
Upon examination it was discovered that the accident resulted in every rib being broken and separated from the sternum. He had a hematoma in the bottom lobe of the left lung as well as a hematoma, puncture and blood clot in the middle lobe of the right lung. A drainage tube was inserted and maintained for seven weeks before being removed. His right elbow was damaged to the extent that it had to be replaced. A bi-lateral hernia and an abdominal tear from iliac crest to iliac crest occurred and has been repaired.
As bad as these injuries were, the most serious result of the accident was the extensive frontal lobe trauma to the brain which has required ongoing treatment, to include CAT scans and MRIs, every 7 to 12 weeks for the past seven years.
Hugo has become increasingly dependent and can no longer be left unattended. Periodically he demonstrates physical aggression which led to a 2 1/2 month stay in a psychiatric unit. After experimenting with various drugs in the hope of changing his mood, it was recommended that he be placed in long term care facility. I am determined to not let this happen and continue to search for treatments which will allow him to live at home.
I have made contact with Dr. Daniel Amen, renowned brain specialist, whose clinic is in Costa Mesa, California. Dr. Amen offers hope to improve Hugo’s condition. We are currently doing all of the preliminary testing prior to his arrival at the clinic. He will be there for evaluation from February 11 to 16 and again in mid-March. Hugo has an extremely heavy schedule once we arrive and he is anxious to get this going in a positive direction. The plan is to determine the extent of the brain damage and what can be done to improve his cognitive
ability and therefore his quality of life.
WSIB, HBPA, & Gomez Memorial Fund have denied all requests for financial.
We have depleted our savings over the past seven years and are in dire need of financial assistance to pay for the evaluation and treatment that may be offered by Dr. Amen. Any help, no matter how small, would be very gratefully appreciated.