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Wall Recovering After Hospitalization

Published: August 10, 2016 9:10 am ET

Last Comment: August 12, 2016 7:57 pm ET | 7 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Dave Wall was conspicuous by his absence at last week's Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame ceremony when Odies Fame was set to join her longtime driver among racing's elite. He's also likely to miss Wednesday's golf tournament fundraiser, something he started for horsemen in need more than two decades ago.

Last week, Wall was forced to miss the Hall Of Fame inductions while sitting in a hospital bed. One problem: no one, not even the doctors, knew why he was there.

In the days leading up to his hospitalization, driver Dave Wall had complained about a headache and felt tired, but that wasn’t enough to stop Dave from driving three horses at Dresden Raceway on Monday, August 1. The following day, Dave’s condition worsened.

When Dave collapsed, his wife Cheryl immediately thought of the worst. “I thought he was having a stroke, as he was delirious and not making much sense. I called (daughter) Dawn to come over to help me getting to the hospital in Strathroy,” said Cheryl from their family farm in Komoka, Ontario.

After admittance to Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital, the staff shared Cheryl’s suspicion that Dave was having a stroke. Dave was rushed by ambulance to University Hospital in London, Ontario where a team was waiting to receive Dave. After some testing it was discovered Dave had a severe brain infection: meningitis.

Meningitis affects the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be bacterial, viral or fungal infection. Symptoms of meningitis can include headache, neck pain, fever, dizziness and confusion. If left untreated, meningitis can, in extreme cases, be deadly.

After several difficult, tiring days in hospital Dave is now resting comfortably at home, says Cheryl. “He’ll make a full recovery after a few weeks of treatment.”

Dave’s release comes a day before the annual Walltyme Golf Tournament, started in 1992 as a fundraiser for the family of Gary Maguire who was killed in a car accident. Since then the fundraiser has helped many horsemen through times of grief, illness or other hardship. In an interview with Trot Magazine in 2012, Dave Wall refused to take responsibility for the more than $250,000 the charity has raised. Dave credits the horsemen who have donated the funds, claiming “There isn’t anyone [the horsepeople] don’t want to help.”

This is not the first time the driver branded as 'Mr. OSS' has been on stall rest. In April 2011, Wall broke both ankles in an accident at The Raceway at Western Fair. And in 2002, an accident at the London oval during qualifiers sent the critically injured driver to hospital. But each time, Wall has bounced back.

“The doctors were concerned about damage to his heart," said Cheryl. "but he has a good, strong heart.”

You’d be hard pressed to find a horse person in Ontario or perhaps Canada who would disagree with that.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Courtney Yake)


August 12, 2016 - 7:57 pmDavid was, and is, a helluva

David was, and is, a helluva horseman. He is even a better person......Get well soon Dave.... Harness racing needs more people like Dave Wall....... C U back on the track.....

August 11, 2016 - 8:29 amHow scary for all of you.

How scary for all of you. Thank goodness, after time and treatment, all will be well as it should be for someone as kind and compassionate as Dave Wall. I recall almost 7 years ago now, when Gerry went through what he did, Dave somehow got into ICU to see Gerry (only family was allowed... I don't know how he pulled that off) and he told me he had never cried so hard for a human being as he did that day looking at Gerry. That is what Dave Wall is like. The biggest heart in the world. Good luck Dave to a speedy recovery. You will be missed until you return.

August 10, 2016 - 1:30 pmWishing Dave a very speedy

Wishing Dave a very speedy recovery. One of the best most generous and funniest people I've ever known in or out of racing. Get well soon Wally!!!

August 10, 2016 - 11:40 amGet well Dave. I covered him

Marty Adler SAID...

Get well Dave.

I covered him on the Windsor Raceway TV show back in the 80's.

Not that he needed it, but I knew how to put a smile on his face with just three little words:

Rocking-Chair Helens!!!!

August 10, 2016 - 10:52 amSo scary! Wishing you a

Carolyn Rae SAID...

So scary! Wishing you a speedy recovery Dave. Merlyn & Carolyn Rae

August 10, 2016 - 10:23 amBest wishes for a speedy and

John Findley SAID...

Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery Dave.

August 10, 2016 - 9:49 amCanadian harness racing’s

Sarah Imrie SAID...

Canadian harness racing’s greatest ambassador and asset. I have had the pleasure of working with Dave at The Raceway since I started in the sport. A true gentlemen, always there when you need him, always putting the sport and its promotion first. Seeing Dave in the paddock always brings a smile to my face, even on those days when you wondered why you got out of bed. Wishing you a speedy recovery and a quick return to the bike my friend. It just would not be the same without that cute, shy little impish grin come opening day at The Raceway!

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