Sunday, December 27, 2009

Singer, Songwriter, Quad, Vic Chesnutt, Checks Out - Death By US Health Care

Vic Chesnutt, 45, a singer-songwriter of spare, idiosyncratic folk tunes tinged with melancholy, died Christmas day in Athens, Ga., after an intentional overdose of prescription muscle relaxants, a family spokesman said.
Paralyzed after a 1983 single-car accident when he was driving drunk at age 18, Mr. Chesnutt had limited use of his arms and hands but nonetheless carved out a career in music, which included being a guitarist. He was discovered in the late 1980s by REM frontman Michael Stipe, who championed his early recordings, and he gained the respect of music critics and fellow musicians who were struck by his darkly humorous songs.
Chesnutt is reported to have said that car accident focused him as a musician and poet. He had attempted suicide several times before, but his latest album included  Flirted With You All My Life which he wrote as a breakup song with death. In it he expresses his wish to live.

Among the risk factors for suicide are physical illness and barriers to accessing mental health treatment. Among the protective factors is support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships. Chesnutt had long-standing troubles with health insurance. Despite attempts to help:
In 1996 his songs were performed by Madonna, the Indigo Girls, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M. and others for “Sweet Relief II: The Gravity of the Situation” [ link], an album that benefited the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a nonprofit group that offers medical support for musicians.
Just a few weeks ago he was a guest on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. In that interview he discussed his dire health insurance situation:

Mr. CHESNUTT: I have been amazed and confused by the health care debate. We need health care reform. There is no doubt about it, we really need health care reform in this country. Because it’s absurd that somebody like me has to pay so much, it’s just too expensive in this country. It’s just ridiculously expensive. That they can take my house away for kidney stone operation is -that’s absurd.vic_chesnutt.jpg

GROSS: Is that what you’re facing the possibility of now?

Mr. CHESNUTT: Yeah. I mean, it could – I’m not sure exactly. I mean, I don’t have cash money to pay these people. I tried to pay them. I tried to make payments and then they finally ended up saying, no, you have to pay us in full now. And so, you know, I’m not sure what exactly my options are. I just – I really – you know, my feeling is that I think they’ve been paid, they’ve already been paid $100,000 from my insurance company. That seems like plenty. I mean, this would pay for like five or six of these operations in any other country in the world. You know, it affects – I mean, right now I need another surgery and I’ve putting it off for a year because I can’t afford it. And that’s absurd, I think.
I mean, I could actually lose a kidney. And, I mean, I could die only because I cannot afford to go in there again. I don’t want to die, especially just because of I don’t have enough money to go in the hospital. But that’s the reality of it. You know, I have a preexisting condition, my quadriplegia, and I can’t get health insurance.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wheelchair Man Holds 5 Hostage at Gunpoint

WYTHEVILLE, Va. (AP) -- An armed man in a wheelchair took five hostages Wednesday at a post office in western Virginia, forcing officials to cordon off three blocks of a downtown filled with holiday shoppers.

Shots were fired, but there were no reports of injuries. The man made no demands other than to ask for a pizza, said Pete Rendina, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Virginia State Police sent in a SWAT team and a bomb technician, and police at the scene told the Wytheville Enterprise the man had five pounds of a common plastic explosive strapped to his chest. State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller would not confirm that.

Susan Holman, manager of a store across the street, said officers told employees to leave the building because there was a man with explosives in the post office.

"The officer told us the man had enough explosives to take out the whole block," Holman told the Enterprise.

Mayor Trent Crewe told The Associated Press five hostages were in the building, including three employees and two customers.

Carlton Austin said his daughter, postal worker Margie Austin, was among the hostages. She managed to call a family friend around 4:30 p.m. and said she was fine. Later, her father said, family members were waiting to hear more.

"That's all we can do," he said.

Postal worker Walt Korndoerfer said he was in the post office when he heard shots and a co-worker ran past. He called police and then ran himself.

His wife, Christine Korndoerfer, said he called around 3:30 p.m. to tell her he had gotten out safely.

"My husband is not one to get upset," she said. "When he called, I don't think I've ever heard him so upset."

Town manager Wayne Sutherland, speaking from his office four blocks from the scene, said dozens of officers had circled the freestanding, brick post office.

"It's completely surrounded by police in every direction," Sutherland said. "All I can see is blue lights."


Monday, December 21, 2009

SCI Research Head to Meet with Obama

Will Ambler, president of a local nonprofit organization devoted to spinal cord injury research, has been invited to speak with President Obama’s disability advisor, Kareem Dale, on Jan. 7 at the White House.

“The meeting is scheduled to last approximately one hour and is an exciting opportunity to get the needed recognition and funds for curing spinal cord injury,” Ambler said.

The focus of the meeting involves three topics: the national cost of spinal cord injuries, how Santa Ynez Valley-based SCI Research Advancement can help find solutions, and how the administration can help SCI do that.

In addition to the White House invitation, SCI has launched a fundraising campaign with a Hollywood connection.

With the help of NBC and the staff from the hit television show “The Office,” SCI Research Advancement is holding an Internet raffle. The winner will receive two round trip tickets to Hollywood to visit the set of “ the office,” meet star Steve Carell and the rest of the cast, and enjoy a two-night hotel stay, all for a $1 ticket.

At the White House meeting, a discussion of the cost of spinal cord injury is important and timely as it pertains to the current health care reform debate, Ambler said.

“According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, spinal cord injury costs the U.S. taxpayer 20 billion dollars every year for the care of people who are chronically paralyzed, and the acute cost for spinal cord injury is 5 billion dollars every year, according to the National Institute of Health,” Ambler said.

“This includes costs to private insurance and public costs. Acute care takes place within the first six months and includes hospital and ICU care, initial rehabilitation, relocation, and acclimation to life in a wheelchair.

“There are 1.25 million people living with spinal cord injury in the U.S. The U.S. government spends 100 million (dollars) on cure research. There are 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. The research budget for AIDS is 3 billion dollars. The funding is disproportionate for the population that suffers from spinal cord injury,” Ambler added.

The second point Ambler wants to raise is how SCI Research Advancement might be able to facilitate treatment and start human clinical trials.

“There have been great strides made in laboratory experiments, but to date nothing has translated into curing a human sitting in a wheelchair. We hope to change the lack of applied research with our meeting,” said Ambler.
His third point will be ways the administration can help SCI with these plans.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

No Condom, No Accident

A B.C. man who became paraplegic after contracting herpes from unprotected sex lost a $200,000 disability award Friday when the Supreme Court of Canada sided with his insurance company in a ruling that concluded that his misfortune, while tragic and unexpected, was not an accident.

The unanimous court said that allowing Randolph Gibbens to cash in "would stretch the boundaries of an accident policy beyond the snapping point" by effectively turning it into health insurance for disease sufferers, with lower premiums.

The case, which pitted the Co-operators Life Insurance Company against the former high-pressure water blaster, centred on the meaning of the word "accident" in
deciding insurance claims.

The ruling overturned two earlier victories for Gibbens in British Columbia courts, which had ruled that he lost the use of his legs by accident because he could not have anticipated it.

Gibbens, who is in his late 40s and lives in the Vancouver suburb of Port Coquitlam, contracted a rare form of genital herpes after having unprotected sex with three women in early 2003. The virus attacked his spine and paralyzed him from his abdomen down.

"I agree with the courts in British Columbia that Mr. Gibbens's paralysis was tragic and unexpected but I do not agree with them that it was caused by, 'external, violent and accidental means' within the meaning of the insurance policy," Justice Ian Binnie wrote in the 9-0 decision.

"In the case of Mr. Gibbens we are dealing with a disease transmitted in the ordinary course of having sex."
The B.C. Supreme Court, in siding with Gibbens two years ago, said his paraplegia was an unexpected outcome of having unprotected sex and that his behaviour, while foolish, was a far cry from engaging in "inordinate risk," such as laying down on the centre line of a highway during traffic.

The ruling was upheld in the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court, however, said it is not enough that an outcome be unexpected.

"In ordinary speech, 'accident' does not include ailments proceeding from natural causes," Binnie wrote.

"It cannot be correct that passengers sitting in an airliner who catch the SARS virus through the externality of the plane's air circulation system, or riders on a bus who catch 'swine flu' from an infected fellow passenger, or people who contract any number of infectious diseases because of a failure to wash hands in disinfectant, or to smack a circling mosquito, have valid claims under an accident policy."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Do Helmets and Pads Make Football Players More Prone to Injuries?

Do helmets and pads make football players more prone to injuries?

UMKC physics professor Robert Riggs is a man of science, so naturally he has a few theories.

But not all are limited to the scientific world that many people try avoiding. In fact, one is about football.
Riggs believes there would be fewer serious injuries if players didn’t wear pads or helmets.

“As a retired Marine officer,” Riggs said, “I know that when you’re wearing body armor, sometimes you feel invincible and I think there’s some of that. They put on all those pads and they feel invincible.”

But wouldn’t football without the pads and helmets basically be rugby?

Well, that’s Riggs’ point. He says rugby is far less dangerous than football.

“I actually played football in high school back in the 70s and they taught us to tackle with our shoulders,” Riggs said. “The first thing you did before tackled anyone was you broke down on someone; in other words, you came to a stop and tackled them leading with your shoulder or a glancing blow with the head.

“Now they coach them to just fly using the head as a missile for the most part.”

Riggs didn’t have any empirical evidence to back up his claim, but a study done last year in the British Journal of Sports Medicine appears to confirm his theory.

The study found that collegiate rugby injury rates were lower than those reported by the NCAA Injury Surveillance System for football, but similar to rates reported for men’s and women’s soccer in 2005–06.

One of the authors of that study is Lyle Micheli, director of the Division of Sports Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. He said rule changes to rugby scrums have dramatically cut down on the number of spinal-cord injuries in that sport.

“Rugby does have injuries, but a lot of them are cuts and broken noses, that kind of thing,” Micheli said in a phone interview. “There’s no blocking in rugby. The actual amount of hard physical contact in rugby is less.

The major impact is occurring in the tackling situation. The scrums are kind of a controlled force, there’s no impact from them. One scrum is pushing against the other, so there’s not much injury. …

“In American football, probably every player is receiving impact-type contact.”

Micheli believes that football rules should be amended to allow for the ejection of players for a serious hit, particularly when the intent is to injure an opponent. He even advocates a red-card, yellow-card system that is used in soccer.

And like Riggs, Micheli believes poor technique is to blame for many of the serious football injuries.

“There’s a ballistic aspect to it. Even at the pro level, you see these defenders who sometimes hit like a projectile,” said Micheli, who is also Associate Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston. “They won’t even put their arms out to tackle the guy. They’ll bang them with their heads. They lack good, basic football principles."


Regeneration, It's in the Genes

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Deleting a gene that suppresses natural growth factors enables regeneration of injured nerve fibers (axons) in mice, a new study shows.

The finding may lead to new treatments for people with brain and spinal cord injuries.
People Who Read This Also Read

Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston deleted the gene SOCS3 -- an inhibitor of a growth pathway called mTOR -- in the retinal ganglion cells of mice. These cells are in the optic nerve, which carries signals from the eyes to the brain.

Removel of SOCS3 resulted in vigorous growth of injured axons. The greatest improvement was seen after one week, when the researchers also detected signs that the mTOR pathway was re-activated. Axon growth increased even more when the researchers applied a growth factor called ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) directly to the eye of mice in which SOCS3 had been deleted. But CNTF only modestly boosted axon growth in mice that still had SOCS3.

"CNTF and other cytokines [cellular signaling molecules] have been tested for promoting axon regeneration previously, but with no success," study leader Zhigang He, of the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Children's Hospital Boston, said in a university news release. "Now we know that this is due to the tight negative control of SOCS3. Inhibiting SOCS3, using small molecule compounds or RNA interference, might allow these cytokine growth factors to be functional."


Being in the Wheelchair, That's the Easiest Part

Like looking at an iceberg, Brandon Sulser's immobility is only the tip of his challenges from quadriplegia.

"Being in the wheelchair, that's the easiest part," he says.

Sulser's severely bruised spinal cord makes it difficult to breathe, because his diaphragm is weaker. It's easy to overheat because his body doesn't sweat. Quadriplegics and paraplegics often have lowered heart rates, leaving them prone to dizziness and fainting, struggling to keep up with workouts and at a higher risk for heart attacks.

Usually, doctors and physicians study and treat those complications when a patient is undergoing rehabilitation. But now Intermountain Medical Center, teaming with the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in New York City, will research those effects right after a spinal cord injury occurs.

The effects of spinal cord injuries are widespread because nerves are linked to the whole body -- "It's how
the brain talks to everything in your body," said Jolene Fox, a senior researcher at the Intermountain's trauma services.

The observational study's goal is to pinpoint the timing and way different systems deteriorate. Future studies could develop treatments to address those changes before rehab, and help improve a patient's quality of life.

"Right now, it's more that we support body systems until they get to rehab," said Mark Stevens, trauma services medical director at the Murray hospital. "What we hope is that these studies would lead
to interventions to treat those changes."
Patients with severely bruised or severed spinal cords are often kept in the trauma area for 10 to 20 days before they are released to begin rehabilitation, Stevens said.

But now, Stevens hopes to enlist patients who will allow their various organ systems to be tested within three days of their injury. He expects to find that dramatic changes occur quickly.

The days after the injury can be a difficult for people adjusting to the likelihood they will be paralyzed, but Sulser, who now works at Intermountain counseling other patients, expects many will enroll.

"I think a majority of people, if not all, would love to be part of this research because it gives us more of a future and a better hope of recovery," Sulser said.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Break-through in SCI Reseach

Deleting a gene that suppresses natural growth factors enables regeneration of injured nerve fibers (axons) in mice, a new study shows.
The finding may lead to new treatments for people with brain and spinal cord injuries.

Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston deleted the gene SOCS3 -- an inhibitor of a growth pathway called mTOR -- in the retinal ganglion cells of mice. These cells are in the optic nerve, which carries signals from the eyes to the brain.

Removel of SOCS3 resulted in vigorous growth of injured axons. The greatest improvement was seen after one week, when the researchers also detected signs that the mTOR pathway was re-activated. Axon growth increased even more when the researchers applied a growth factor called ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) directly to the eye of mice in which SOCS3 had been deleted. But CNTF only modestly boosted axon growth in mice that still had SOCS3.

"CNTF and other cytokines [cellular signaling molecules] have been tested for promoting axon regeneration previously, but with no success," study leader Zhigang He, of the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Children's Hospital Boston, said in a university news release. "Now we know that this is due to the tight negative control of SOCS3. Inhibiting SOCS3, using small molecule compounds or RNA interference, might allow these cytokine growth factors to be functional."


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dramatic Increase in Spinal Cord Injuries from Afghanistan

Spinal Cord Injury Iraq

Military medical officials have expressed concern over an increase in spinal injuries among U.S. troops coming home from Afghanistan. Afghan insurgents have responded to the increased presence of heavily armored U.S. vehicles with larger and more powerful roadside explosives.

Roadside bombs have become the top killer of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not only do the roadside bombs lead to crushed spines and other spinal injuries, they also result in traumatic brain injuries when soldiers are exposed to blasts, even with no impact to the head.

A USA Today story reported that the recent increase in spinal injuries occurred among soldiers in Afghanistan and not Iraq. The increase in spinal cord injuries among troops has arisen due to increased potency in roadside bombs used by insurgents. The U.S. Military issued 3500 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles as an attempt to deal with the roadside bombings. Unfortunately, Afghanistan insurgents responded with stronger and larger bombs.

Some of the 3500 MRAP vehicles deployed in Afghanistan have been lifted a few feet off the ground by roadside bomb explosions. Even though the MRAP vehicle may remain intact, some soldiers have suffered serious spinal cord injuries in the explosions. The MRAP vehicles cost about $1.4 million.

Medical professionals and Army engineers are comparing data to explore possible alterations and improvements to the MRAP vehicle design to make it safer for soldiers who are exposed to increasing roadside bomb possibilities. The MRAP vehicles, which cost about $1.4 million to make, have a hull designed in a V-shape, which helps to deflect the force of explosions away from the center of the vehicle, the USA Today article reported.

Since there are very few paved roads in Afghanistan, rebels can easily bury roadside explosives in the dirt roads, undetectable to soldiers driving along the roads at high speeds. Although the military has recently send over newer and lighter MRAP vehicles with better seating and harnesses, more improvements are still in the works to ensure the vehicles are safe for combat.

Salamanders Can Regenerate, Why Can't You?

ScienceDaily (Dec. 9, 2009) — For more than 400 years, scientists have studied the amazing regenerative power of salamanders, trying to understand how these creatures routinely repair injuries that would usually leave humans and other mammals paralyzed -- or worse.

Now, fueled by a highly competitive National Institutes of Health Grand Opportunity grant of $2.4 million, a multi-institutional team of researchers associated with the University of Florida McKnight Brain Institute's Regeneration Project has begun creating genomic tools necessary to compare the extraordinary regenerative capacity of the Mexican axolotl salamander with established mouse models of human disease and injury.

Researchers want to find ways to tap unused human capacities to treat spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury and other neural conditions, according to Edward Scott, principal investigator for the GO grant and director of the McKnight Brain Institute's Program in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

"The axolotl is the champion of vertebrate regeneration, with the ability to replace whole limbs and even parts of its central nervous system," Scott said. "These salamanders use many of the same body systems and genes that we do, but they have superior ability to regenerate after major injuries. We think that studying them will tell us a lot about a patient's natural regenerative capacities after spinal cord injury and nerve cell damage."

The issue of what controls organ regeneration was named among the top 25 major questions facing scientists in the next quarter century by Science magazine in 2005, Scott said. With medical science continually adding years to the human lifespan, the importance of "rebuilding and restoring" old tissues and organs is growing. But science had to enter the 21st century to fully explore the use of the highly regenerative axolotl as a model for human disease.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

If You Were a Worm You Could Walk

Photo: Scientists paralyze and then cure worms: Canadian researchers use light to turn potential drugs on, and then off
This tiny worm became temporarily paralyzed when scientists fed it a light-sensitive material, or "photoswitch," and then exposed it to ultraviolet light.
(American Chemical Society)

Ever since a Canadian team of scientists revealed they had figured out how to paralyze worms - and then cure the paralysis - just by flashing the worms with different beams of light, Neil Branda has been asked the same question over and over.

What animal is he going to paralyze next?

None, as a matter of fact, he says.

The worms simply served as a dramatic confirmation of the first known ability to use light as a means of switching a biological function on and off, and it could have major implications for fields ranging from optical memory to medical surgery in humans.

Light switching has been used for years in non-biological systems, such as transition lenses that darken when exposed to light, and then reverse the process when the light dims. But this is different.
"Nobody we know of has put light switching into live organisms and then shown a reversible biological effect, at least to the best of our knowledge," chemist Neil Branda, leader of the team of researchers at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia said in a telephone interview. The findings were published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Visible Light Activates and Reverses Paralysis

The researchers designed a molecule that "for several complicated reasons" they thought would induce paralysis in tiny transparent worms, C. elegans, when exposed to ultraviolet light.

The molecule was dissolved in an aqueous solution and then "orally administered" to hundreds of nematodes, which turned blue and went into paralysis. That was expected, because similar experiments have been done in labs around the world.

However, when the worms were hit with visible light, the process was reversed and the nematodes regained their mobility and appeared "as if they had never been paralyzed," the study reports.

Why is that such a big deal? Light is already used to switch on biological functions for treatment of arthritis and several types of cancer, called photodynamic therapy, but once the process is switched on, it can't be switched off.

Thus the drug remains active for some time - at least four weeks according to the Mayo Clinic - so patients have to avoid bright lights for six weeks to keep the activated drug from doing extensive damage elsewhere in the body.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Paralyzed Rugby Player Now Wants to Live

Friday, 4 December 2009
A man who wanted to die after being left paralysed by a rugby accident is now celebrating a first class law degree and a job at a top city firm.

He is one of several people with a disabled or terminal condition who are glad they didn’t end it all, and who now live a life of value and meaning.

Matt King, who was 17 at the time of the accident, suffered injuries to his spine which left him permanently paralysed from the neck down and dependent on a ventilator to breathe.

His case has been compared to the tragic death of Daniel James, another young man who suffered a debilitating rugby injury and committed suicide at the Dignitas facility in Switzerland.

Mr King said of his accident: “I knew I had broken my neck straight away”.

He added: “The paramedics were asking me to move my toes and I couldn’t. It was completely terrifying.”

“My first thought was ‘let me die’ because my vision of what my life would be like was awful.

“But I realised in hospital that I’m still young and if I was going to lead a meaningful life I would need to get an education.”

Speaking against plans to legalise assisted suicide, disability rights campaigner Baroness Campbell said: “A change in the law based on the assumption that some lives are more valuable and worthwhile than others would alter the mindset of the medical and social care professions, persuading more and more people that actually the prospect of an ‘easy’ way out is what people such as me really want.”


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NIH Starts First New Stem Cell Lines Research

The National Institutes of Health said Wednesday that it had approved 13 new human embryonic stem cell lines for use by federally financed researchers, with another 96 lines under review.

The action followed President Obama’s decision in March to expand the number of such cell lines beyond those available under a policy set by President George W. Bush, which permitted research to begin only with lines already available on Aug. 9, 2001.

Since that date, biomedical researchers supported by the N.I.H. have had to raise private money to derive the cells, which are obtained from the fertilized embryos left over from in vitro fertility clinics.

With federal money banned from being used in any part of the work on the derived lines, researchers had to divide their laboratories and go to extreme lengths to separate research materials based on the financing source.

“You can imagine what it meant not to be able to carry a pipette from one room to another,” said Ali H. Brivanlou, a researcher at Rockefeller University. “They even had to repaint the walls to ensure no contamination by federal funds.”

Two of the newly approved 13 lines were derived by Dr. Brivanlou with private financing. The rest were prepared by Dr. George Daley of Children’s Hospital, Boston.

Dr. Daley said that private financing had been drying up and that he was eager to start research on the now-approved cell lines with the help of his federal grant money.

The director of the health agency, Dr. Francis S. Collins, said he believed most researchers would be satisfied with the outcome, even though they were still barred from deriving the cells themselves. “I’m not sure everyone is interested in deriving their own cell lines as long as they can get lines from others,” Dr. Collins said.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Poor Poor Mayor, Denied Right to Squash Small Children with iBOT

The Magic Kingdom wasn't so magical for one Florida man over the holiday weekend, reported The Miami Herald. Myron Rosner, the mayor of North Miami Beach who also happens to be paraplegic, says he was repeatedly hassled by Disney employees over his high-tech wheelchair.
The 49-year-old Rosner, who was paralyzed in a construction accident, uses an iBOT 4000 wheelchair. Johnson & Johnson manufactured only a few hundred of these unusual items before discontinuing the product line earlier this year, said the Sun Sentinel.
Skip over this content
Myron Rosner and family
Rosner Family
Myron Rosner is seen here with his family at Disney World, seated in his iBOT 4000 wheelchair. The upright, two-wheeled configuration of the chair caused Disney employees to mistake it for a Segway.
Unlike most wheelchairs, the four-wheeled iBOT is able to tilt back on two wheels and lift the rider to eye level. And that's where the trouble started at Disney World, said the Herald.
At both the Animal Kingdom and Epcot parks, Disney employees approached Rosner and his family and insisted that he drop back down to four wheels. They cited a Disney policy that forbids the use of two-wheeled Segway devices inside the park, the Herald reported.
"I was totally harassed by Disney World," Rosner told the Herald. "It was a nightmare for my wife, myself and my four children. They gave me the impression I was not welcome here.''
Rosner was allegedly told that if he didn't drop down to four wheels, he would be asked to leave the park, said the Sun Sentinel. On principle, he refused.