Former Richmond star Shane Tack died of poor mental health, not mental illness, his sister Renee said.
In the year In 2020, the football world was shocked by the news of Shane’s sudden passing at the age of 38.
Hawthorne’s son Michael played 173 games for the Tigers over 10 seasons before retiring in 2013.
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After his death, Shane’s brain was donated to the Brain Bank, an organization founded by Dr. Michael Buckland, a renowned neuropathologist.
Dr Buckland diagnoses chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can only be diagnosed post-mortem, by examining deposits of a brain protein known as tau.
Buckland was surprised by what he saw as he probed Shane’s mind.
“Shane’s brain was the worst I’ve ever seen in terms of pure CTE, and that came as a shock,” Dr. Buckland told ABC.
“Even when the scientist gave me a microscope to look at. [at the brain]I don’t even need a microscope to see tau deposits.
He was young and it was shocking to see that level of disease.
Renee Shane told her that a few years after she retired, she heard voices, “and they weren’t very good. His personality changed dramatically.
“Shane wasn’t sane, he was friendly,” she said.
“He didn’t suffer from anxiety and depression and he loved life, he lived it to the fullest; [just like] How he played football.
“I was concerned when he said there were some things going on because I knew very well that it wasn’t him.”
Renee is relieved to learn of Dr. Buckland’s findings.
“He was mentally unsound, and he had a sick mind that was dying on him,” she said.
“It’s helped us so incredibly, because it means so much and it’s so important to let go and move forward.”