The Friday Four seeks to highlight some of the people behind some of the interesting stories I stumble upon during my daily search for relevant content. Happy Friday!
1. Michael Schumacher –- It’s simply not possible to overstate the seriousness of the state of Michael Schumacher’s health since the seven-time Formula One champion was injured in a skiing accident late last month. The 45-year-old Schumacher sustained significant head injuries as a result of a fall on the slopes on Dec. 29. According to a recent Associated Press article, he hit his head on a rock when the accident occurred and has been in an induced coma ever since. At one point in time, Schumacher’s condition was described as critical. It has since been upgraded to stable.
Now doctors are (slowly) attempting to bring him out of the coma. Part of the reason for that decision is to see what level of functions his brain has retained. It’s certainly a scary and upsetting time for Schumacher and his family, and it’s far too soon to determine how his recovery will play out. Read more about Schumacher’s situation here and here.
2. Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw -- The Alabama neurosurgeon was at Brookwood Medical Center when received a call on Tuesday morning notifying him that he was needed for emergency brain surgery. The procedure wasn't scheduled to take place at Brookwood Medical Center, but rather at another facility roughly six miles away. However, the situation was made more complicated by the fact that a snowstorm had worked its way into the Birmingham area. Local traffic was adversely affected by the inclement weather. As a result, Dr. Hrynkiw managed to drive only a few blocks before he realized he had to find another way to get to Trinity Medical Center. He then called the hospital and notified officials of his plan to walk the rest of the way.
Steve Davis, charge nurse in the neuro intensive care unit at Trinity, informed the police of Dr. Hrynkiw's plans. Hours passed. The authorities were unable to locate Dr. Hrynkiw, but he made it to the facility and promptly performed the emergency surgery. The video below explains the story in great detail:
3. John Verrier –- According to a CBS News Report, the 30-year-old Verrier arrived at the emergency room of St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx on Jan. 12 at approximately 10 p.m. complaining about a rash. At about 6:40 a.m. the next morning, Verrier was found dead by a guard who was unable to wake him up. It seems he was alive at least until 3:40 a.m. Reports state he failed to respond to his name being called to see the doctor on multiple occasions during the night.
The situation is best described as both bizarre and disheartening. It should be noted, however, that the hospital said it was determined everything had been done to protocol. My initial response to reading about Verrier’s unfortunate death as that evidence of foul play would eventually be discovered, but that has more to do with the countless episodes of "Law & Order" I’ve seen over the course of the last two decades than it does anything to do with what happened at St. Barnabas Hospital. It looks like there isn't anything more to this story than what has already come to light.
4. Percy Harvin -- It's been a frustrating year for the dynamic NFL wide receiver. A superstar-caliber player when healthy, Harvin spent most of his inaugural campaign with the Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks working his way back from surgery to repair a partially-torn hip labrum. When he was cleared to play in a divisional playoff tilt against the New Orleans Saints, Harvin promptly sustained a concussion and was removed from the game. However, despite losing the vast majority of his season to injury, Harvin is set to suit up Sunday in Seattle's Super Bowl XLVIII matchup against the Denver Broncos.
I generally try to avoid all the media coverage of the Super Bowl prior to the game. I'm just not interested in the majority of the storylines related to the event. However, I found myself paying a little bit of attention to Harvin's situation. As a highly-paid player in his first year with a new team, I imagine he wants to prove himself to be every bit the high-impact player the Seahawks brass thought he was when they traded for him this past offseason. To illustrate just how effective a healthy Harvin can be on the football field, here's some breathtaking highlights of him from his time with the Minnesota Vikings: