Sad details of AFL star Danny Frawley’s last few months after the coroner discovered his tragic death were revealed.
St Kilda Football Club coach, commentator and captain Frawley died in a car accident in Millbrook in September 2019.
Frawley, 56, has a history of mental health problems and his mental condition began to deteriorate months before his death.
Coroner Paresa Spanos supported the finding that Flory had killed herself on Tuesday, and his condition before his death was consistent with personal stress and he was taking his medication. Said it didn’t seem to be.
For two years before his death, Flory met a psychiatrist every month and continued to take medication.
By January 2019, he had stopped taking the medication and admitted to seeing a doctor.
Flory’s media presence has declined since January 2019, and his wife Anita Flory appeared to have hurt her ego.
“From around April 2019, she observed that he became more and more unstable and began to overeat and drink,” the coroner said in her discovery.
“Mr. Flory stopped riding a planned bike with a friend and became obsessed with his needs with little concern for his family.
“In late June 2019, Mr Flory’s decision-making remained volatile and his personality changed.
“He further self-absorbed and gained about 25 kg.
“He preferred to avoid family Christmas at the celebration of July and spend time with the AFL team in the country he was coaching.”
Flory attended in September 2019, which turned out to be her last promise with his psychiatrist.
His struggle affected his relationship with his wife.
“Mr. Flory admitted a temporary dark idea when thinking about marriage, but violently denied positive suicidal ideation and plans,” the coroner said.
Flory refused to be admitted to the hospital to deal with his lack of sleep and overall mental condition.
After that, Mrs. Flory told her husband that she needed a break.
However, he was fine and seemed happy to celebrate his birthday with friends and family.
On September 19, 2019, Frawley called a psychiatrist and asked him to change his schedule later in the day, but he couldn’t.
During his illustrious career, Flory continued about 20 concussions, including loss of consciousness, severe headaches, and vision problems.
A post-mortem study of his brain found that he suffered from low-grade chronic dementia pugilistia (CTE). This is a type of brain disorder associated with repeated blows to the head.
CTEs that can only be diagnosed after death are associated with mood and behavioral changes, and sometimes cognitive and memory deficits.
Ms. Spanos said there was no evidence from evidence that the stressor caused or contributed to Flory’s death.
However, she realized that CTE was a potential cause of depression that Flory suffered in the last few years.
Ms. Spanos also emphasized the lack of knowledge about the amount of CTE that causes neurological dysfunction, partly due to the lack of Australian and international research.
“Like many players, Mr Flory began his football career during his formation and probably experienced a head injury while his brain was still developing,” the coroner said. It was.
“Therefore, it is difficult to assess CTE’s contribution to personality, behavior, cognitive impairment, or emotions throughout life.
“Because CTE can only be diagnosed after death, it is impossible to determine when CTE was initiated and whether it coincided with changes in mood or behavior.”
Ms. Spanos recommends that AFL and the AFL Players Association “actively encourage” players to donate their postmortem brains to the Australian Sports Brain Bank for CTE research.
“(It) will make a significant contribution to the study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, thereby improving the safety of future generations of footballers and others engaged in contact sports,” she said.
Ms. Spanos praised AFL for supporting previous research on player health and safety.
The AFL Committee and the AFL Players Association said in a study that significant changes were made to the AFL guidelines in the decades following Flory’s career to prevent and manage concussion and head injuries.
The two organizations also endorse a joint initiative by the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Medical Association, the Australian College of Sports and Athletic Medicine and Sports Medicine Australia, arguing that further research is needed to understand CTE.
Flory played 240 AFL games between 1984 and 1995.