THURSDAY, JANUARY 06, 2011 - If you remember back in September our trip to the Powerboat Nationals in Kankakee, Illinois then I am sure you will remember my talking about all of the crashes and injuries associated with the weekend. I have good news to report tonight. Dan Schwartz, the California pilot in the Formula 2 finals who was so badly injured, is finally going home.
Dan's wife Jean today posted to his Caring Bridge page that the family is planning to return home to California on January 8 after spending a full four months in two Chicago area hospitals as Dan recovered. That is such great news and a true blessing to hear.
If you remember, Dan's accident involved three boats and resulted him being shot onto the bank of the Kankakee River and upside down on a golf course where he was extricated from the remains of his boat. He suffered massive head injuries, neck injuries and leg fractures and was on a ventilator for some time before slowly beginning his recovery.
I know he and his wife Jean continue to need prayers so I hope you will continue to remember them as Dan's road to recovery is just starting and his rehabilitation is expected to last many more months. If you want to follow Dan's progress or encourage him by signing his guestbook you can access his Caring Bridge website at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/danschwartz.
In other news, our new breathing air masks arrived this week so I will spend a little time retrofitting them to our needs in the next few weeks and then visiting my friend Charlie Carroll at Huntington Commercial Diving Center to test them in the pool a few times. They are similar to what an airplane fighter pilot would wear, but have a SCUBA regulator affixed to the front of the mask. They are set up with a valve that allows you to breath air from the boat's cockpit during racing, but then they switch over to bottled air should you turn upside down or come in contact with water.
We need to change the air fittings to adapt to our hose system and change the radio speakers in the masks to match our NASCAR radio systems, but other than that our primary Formula 3 Yeeeha boat will have a new system when we hit the water in the spring. Our old system from last year will remain with the Hemp/Pugh F-3 boat should we run it as a backup, secondary or part time entry. That leaves us with an extra mask doesn't it. What do you think that might indicate?
Just a morsel to keep you coming back for more.