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Sport Retired goalie Tim Thomas details brain damage from hockey

15:35  13 december  2019
15:35  13 december  2019 Source:   ap.org

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Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. He didn’t talk to his former teammates or even call his father. The brain scan occurred a year after his retirement , and his thoughts wandered to his career and the hits

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former NHL goaltender Tim Thomas said Thursday that his post-concussion syndrome symptoms were so severe that he couldn't make basic decisions and his brain wasn't functioning well enough to even watch hockey . In his first public appearance since walking away from

a group of people posing for the camera: The 2019 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class, from left to right, Tim Thomas, Brian Gionta, Krissy Wendell and Neal Henderson stand on the ice before a ceremonial puck drop ahead of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)© APWF The 2019 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class, from left to right, Tim Thomas, Brian Gionta, Krissy Wendell and Neal Henderson stand on the ice before a ceremonial puck drop ahead of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) Doctors told Tim Thomas that two-thirds of his brain were getting less than 5% blood flow and the other third was averaging about 50%.

His wife, Melissa, and oldest daughter, Kiley, started crying. Thomas didn’t react - because he couldn’t process what he was hearing.

a group of people posing for the camera: Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33), Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, and the 2019 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class, from second left to second right: Tim Thomas, Brian Gionta, Krissy Wendell and Neal Henderson stand on the ice for a ceremonial puck drop before an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)© APWF Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33), Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, and the 2019 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class, from second left to second right: Tim Thomas, Brian Gionta, Krissy Wendell and Neal Henderson stand on the ice for a ceremonial puck drop before an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

“I couldn't believe it because I couldn't function well enough to understand it,” he said.

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Doctors told Tim Thomas that two-thirds of his brain were getting less than 5% blood flow and the other third was averaging about 50%. Thomas didn’t react — because he couldn’t process what he was hearing.

Tim Thomas says he couldn't watch hockey for years after retiring as a result of concussions damaging his brain . Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec.

Now years removed from the goaltending career and the concussions that caused so many problems, Thomas on Thursday detailed the brain damage that derailed his life. He wrestled with the positive memories of winning the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011 as playoff MVP, his love of the game and the effects that playing in the NHL had on his brain.

Tim Thomas wearing a suit and tie: Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)© APWF Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thomas got choked up discussing the past several trying years and his long road to being able to talk about his problems. He is better now but still isn’t close to normal.

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Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (Winslow Townson/AP). In his first public appearance since walking away from the game, Thomas said a scan taken after he retired showed that two-thirds of his brain were getting less than 5% blood flow and the other third was getting less than 50%.

WASHINGTON, DC – Former NHL goaltender Tim Thomas said Thursday that his post-concussion syndrome symptoms were so severe that he couldn't make basic decisions and his brain wasn't functioning well enough to even watch hockey .

“What is normal, right?” Thomas said. “I wake up every day and basically I have to reorder everything in my mind for the first couple hours of the day and then make a list and try to make some choices to get some stuff done, which I’ve gotten to the level that I can.”

During his NHL career, Thomas was considered somewhat mercurial, which is not unusual for goaltenders. He was criticized for not visiting then-President Barack Obama at the White House with his teammates after the Bruins won the Cup.

Now 45, Thomas is still coming to grips with head injuries and one concussion from December 2013 that he said “changed my life.”

“I woke up the next morning after it, and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to eat, where I wanted to go,” Thomas said. “I couldn’t plan a schedule. I survived by following the team schedule the rest of the year and just made it through that season.”

He then hung up his skates.

Retired goalie Tim Thomas details brain damage from hockey

  Retired goalie Tim Thomas details brain damage from hockey Former NHL goaltender Tim Thomas said Thursday that his post-concussion syndrome symptoms were so severe that he couldn't make basic decisions.In his first public appearance since walking away from the game, Thomas said a scan taken after he retired showed that two-thirds of his brain were getting less than 5% blood flow and the other third was getting less than 50%. The 45-year-old said it took significant time and help to even be able to communicate with former teammates and others.

Boston Bruins players including goalie Tim Thomas , center, walk to the ice rink to practice at Fenway Park in Boston on Thursday, Dec. Now years removed from the goaltending career and the concussions that caused so many problems, Thomas on Thursday detailed the brain damage that

Former NHL goaltender Tim Thomas said Thursday that his post-concussion syndrome symptoms were so severe that he couldn't make basic decisions Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33), Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, and the 2019 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Tim Thomas wearing a suit and tie: Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)© APWF Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Thomas struggled to communicate with anyone, let alone watch hockey, in ensuing years. He couldn’t keep up with games, and he moved with his family to the woods to get away. He didn’t talk to his former teammates or even call his father.

Gary Bettman wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)© APWF NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The brain scan occurred a year after his retirement, and his thoughts wandered to his career and the hits he took to the head.

“My rebound effect was like, this wasn't worth it,” Thomas said. “That's where I was then. Where I am today is past that. I ended up learning so many lessons out of the experience. It brought me tighter with my family. It taught me a value for life and a value for my brain that I've never had before. And I have appreciation for everything that I never had before. I don't regret anything."

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former NHL goaltender Tim Thomas said Thursday that his post-concussion syndrome symptoms were so severe that he couldn't make basic decisions and his brain wasn't functioning well enough to even watch hockey . In his first public appearance since walking away from

Former NHL goalie Tim Thomas said his post-concussion syndrome symptoms were so severe he couldn’t make basic decisions. In his first public appearance since walking away from the game, Thomas said a scan taken after he retired showed that two-thirds of his brain were getting less than

Tim Thomas wearing a suit and tie: Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)© APWF Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Thomas on Wednesday attended his first NHL game since retiring and got to see some old Bruins teammates and friends behind the scenes. He’s not interested in getting involved with the game again in part because he thinks of the damage it caused him.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who was inducted into the hall along with Thomas, said the league has taken steps to prevent and reduce concussions.

“We've put a tremendous amount of effort in diagnosing protocols, return to play protocols, making sure players are educated, changing the culture of the game so that players know that it's OK to say, 'I'm having symptoms,’” Bettman said. “We want to make sure that we're doing everything possible, that we're staying on top of the medicine and the science as it's being told to us to make sure we're diagnosing and treating appropriately.”

Krissy Wendell-Pohl posing for the camera: Olympic medalist Krissy Wendell speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)© APWF Olympic medalist Krissy Wendell speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Thomas didn’t criticize the league or the players’ association for the concussions or the damage they caused. He said he has spent time learning about ionized water that has improved his symptoms and turned his old competitive juices toward learning about his brain and how it functions.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Doctors told Tim Thomas that two-thirds of his brain were getting less than 5% blood flow and the other third was averaging about 50%. His wife, Melissa, and oldest daughter, Kiley, started crying. Thomas didn’t react — because he couldn’t process what he was hearing.

Former NHL goaltender Tim Thomas says he has experienced significant brain damage from concussions during his playing career. Thomas says he still struggles

Brian Gionta wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Former NHL player Brian Gionta speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)© APWF Former NHL player Brian Gionta speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

It was still a struggle simply to tell his story.

"I didn't want to talk about this,” Thomas said. “I didn't want to tell the world this stuff. Not till I felt ready, and I didn't feel ready yet. But here I am."

Thomas and Bettman were joined in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2019 by former NHL forward Brian Gionta, Olympian Krissy Wendell and Washington inner city hockey pioneer Neal Henderson.

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Tim Thomas et al. standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)© APWF Former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) a man wearing a suit and tie: Neal Henderson, co-founder of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)© APWF Neal Henderson, co-founder of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, speaks with members of the media before being inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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