Having recently written about the boxing match that had left Nick Blackwell in an induced coma, it is with some relief that we find he was brought out of his coma on Sunday. His team have been posting photos of him looking well and in good spirits.
It was originally reported that he had a bleed on the brain however his management have now confirmed Nick suffered a bleed on the skull that could be treated without the need for invasive surgery.
Chris Eubank Snr was instrumental in advising his son to stop taking blows at Nick Blackwell’s head as he could see that the fighter was injured. This is a stark reminder of the fight 25 years ago where Chris Eubank Snr fought Michael Watson, leaving him in a Coma for 40 days, having six operations on his brain to remove a blood clot and leaving him with significant brain damage. This fight led to many safety reforms within the sport. It was clear that Chris Eubank Snr was concerned history would repeat itself and was banging on the canvas, calling for the referee to stop the match.
Peter Hamlyn, a leading neurosurgeon who operated five times on Watson, told the Guardian in response to the Eubanks’ comments that any attempt to ease off for Blackwell’s benefit may not have been successful. “Damage is done when the head moves violently,” he said.
“The violence of the movement inflicted by a punch is a function of its force, the resistance/strength/fatigue of the neck muscles and the alertness of the punched boxer. So, he may well have punched less hard but done as much damage as Blackwell fatigued and became less alert.”
It will be a wait and see process now to understand the lasting effect that this injury will have on Nick Blackwell. As we discover with our clients, even the most subtle of traumatic brain injuries can leave the injured party with significant problems for the rest of their life including increased rage, and difficulty with memories, fatigue, mood changes to name but a few.
Those that have suffered subtle brain injuries can often be seen to experience no obvious difficulties so it is only with the help of family, friends and those who have known the individuals before and after that accident that vital information can be provided to demonstrate the profound and sometimes devastating effect upon the rest of their lives.