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Matt McHale

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by mr.scottnewman, Jun 13, 2008.

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  1. Yes, this is the real Scott Newman--and I'd take anything to be back getting your barbs from a few months ago--and having a good time with all of it.
    Problem is, I'm not joking around much these days.

    Matt McHale, a former baseball writer and deputy sports editor at the Los Angeles Daily News, suffered a heart attack, and needed to be defibrillated back to life--after he took a buyout from the paper, and returned home to Connecticut, around June 6. Since then, he's lapsed into a coma and suffered a stroke.
    There is some good news. His condition has stabilized, although he's still in the ICU and he faces a long unknown journey to recovery.

    Here is an email update from a former colleague of his, Gary Shepard ...

    Everyone,

    I want you to know that I had the opportunity to visit Matt this morning in Connecticut. First the good news, although he is still in the ICU, his
    condition has stablized. The sad news is that he has appeared to have suffered
    a stroke according to his brain scan (his doctors think it may have been before
    his heart attack.) He is able to recognize people for a limited time and he
    tries to reply when asked simple and direct questions but his speech is
    extremely slurred and difficult to understand. He was in and mostly out on his
    level of attention and being able to maintain eye contact. To be fair, he had
    just awoke at 8 a.m..

    Matt has an extremely long recovery period ahead of him. The doctor told me
    that they are going to put a feeding tube in later today, so they no longer
    have to feed him through his nose. They expect he will be discharged out of the
    ICU and placed in a long term care facility in about another week.

    He still has not gotten out of bed and as some of you know he had been walking with the aid of crutches for the last year due to the devastating affects of
    his diabities. He also appears to have limited movement of his arms, hands and
    fingers.

    It is really tough for all of us because we can't pick up the phone and give
    him our good wishes. I know though I was there and he acknowledged me with a
    big smile, but will he even remember that tomorrow?

    His nurses tell me he has and continues to improve everyday. For instance,
    last week he was unable to smile. For that we should all be all grateful as
    well as hopeful.

    Matt apparently had a bet with the doctor that the Lakers would win by 10
    points last night and he did understand that they lost last night. If he only
    knew.....

    So in short, Matt must have to overcome both very large mental and physical
    problems. He is facing a long and challenging recovery period. The doctors say
    they still do not know how much Matt will be able to return to his "normal"
    self.

    Please continue to keep Matt in your thoughts and prayers. We all should learn
    from this and enjoy everyday with our family and friends because you never
    know...

    All the best and Happy Fathers Day to you Dads.

    Gary

    Shepard Insurance Agency


    I remained close to Matt well after I left the business, and he is the godfather of my daughter, Bianca, who will celebrate her 16th birthday next month. In a business that we all know is often callous, he's perhaps the nicest person you'll ever come across--and while his disheveled appearance and disorganization are as much a part of baseball lore as Dodger dogs, and the Green Monster, there are few more dedicated, or who care more about this business than Matt.

    I am going to visit him this weekend--and will report back--hopefully with some good news.

    Thanks for your time, and prayers.


    Scott Newman
     
  2. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Christ privy, the news keeps getting worse and worse.

    Damn, this is horrible. Matt is a good, good guy and was a huge loss for the Daily News; probably the most indispensable person in that department. He needs to pull through this.

    Appreciate the update, Scott. Please keep everyone posted on his condition.
     
  3. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Prayers, good thoughts, infinity.

    Matt McHale is a quality guy, quality journalist. So many pricks and genuinely bad people in the world and in the business, and good people like Matt McHale are the ones with major health issues.

    It's just not right. Get well, Matt.
     
  4. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    Consider the prayers and thoughts done.

    Whatever ill will mr.scottnewman inspired with his lengthy thread a few months back, his description of McHale is right on, and his affection for him is obvious and genuine.

    Get well, Matt. Please.
     
  5. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Matt is a first class guy. Nothing but good thoughts for his recovery.
     
  6. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    Life's too short. Prayers for Matt.
     
  7. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    Sorry to hear this. Matt is one of the best guys I have encountered in more than 38 years in this business.
    Keep fighting, brother.
     
  8. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    prayers out to matt. don't know him but sure sounds like one of the precious few good guys still standing. :( :( :(
     
  9. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    Pulling for Matt big-time.

    I really hate that he took, or felt forced to take, a buyout. As long as health insurance is tied to jobs, and jobs in our industry are vanishing, we're going to see others suffer similar consequences. Maybe I'm jumping the gun, but even if Matt has coverage through some other option, it wasn't that long ago chronologically that your employer would have your back, no hesitation, while you endured something like this. Full salary, no picky squabbles over available sick days, etc.

    Now many of these newspapers don't even have our backs when we're healthy, much less when we're ailing. There always is some bean counter ready to bitch now about the drain on assets that a sick employee might become.
     
  10. In this case, as I understand it, the company provided for his health care coverage, for at least six months after he left the paper. Matt was in poor health. and in and out of the hospital because of his diabetes, when he took the buyout--he received severance pay, and some paid months of health insurance. A few weeks ago, after he learned he had to go on dialysis, he was upbeat, and said the insurance allowed him to go home, and get much better care in Connecticut at a hospital than the one in California.
     
  11. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    That's good, then. We'll say a prayer for this gentleman.
     
  12. RamonaShelburne

    RamonaShelburne New Member

    Hi,

    Ramona Shelburne here from the Daily News. I can confirm just about everything in this post. We've tried to keep this a little close to the vest, out of respect for his family, but there are so many of you out there who love Matty I feel like maybe it's better for people to know, so we can all send out thoughts and prayers to him.

    Steve Dilbeck and I were able to visit him in Connecticut last week, when we were in Boston for the Finals and several colleagues were able to speak with Matt via cellphone. He is not verbally responsive to people, but I really felt like he knew we were there and could feel all the good wishes and thoughts people all across the country were sending him.

    He has a long road ahead of him, obviously, but there are a tremendous amount of people nearby who care about him and visit him frequently. Matt grew up out there, and had returned home after he left the Daily News in February.

    I know that he appreciates everyone's thoughts and prayers, so I thought I'd give you all something special to pray for. Before the cardiac arrest, Matty had been hoping to get himself well enough to cover the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium this year, baseball being his first and true love.

    I don't know if that's possible, given the timeframe, but I like to think it is.
     
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