Sledding Athletes Are Taking Their Lives. Did Brain-Rattling Rides and High-Speed Crashes Damage Their Brains?

Pavle Jovanovic accomplished his diploma from Rutgers in 2010 and started working together with his brother within the household steel works, the place they did metal framing and additionally managed artisanal tasks.

“The guy could look at a blueprint and do all the calculations for what we needed in his head,” Nick Jovanovic mentioned of his brother. No matter how advanced the job, in these first years, Pavle may all the time give you the reply.

As the years handed although, Pavle Jovanovic grew to become somebody Nick didn’t acknowledge. He drank closely and grew moody. He had by no means been in bother with the legislation earlier than, however the police in his Jersey Shore city obtained greater than a dozen complaints about him, all the things from ingesting and harassing prospects at eating places to conflicts with ex-girlfriends.

At work, he started to lose his capability to do the easy mathematical calculations required to chop steel appropriately.

On a Saturday afternoon in 2017, Nick Jovanovic stopped by the steel works store, the place Pavle and two staff have been engaged on a railing. Nick advised Pavle he wasn’t doing it appropriately. Pavle grabbed Nick and threw him right into a wall, then pounced. Only when he noticed his older brother’s face bleeding did Pavle snap out of his fury.

He did a sequence of stints at a psychological well being heart, the place he was handled for alcoholism, melancholy and bipolar dysfunction.

After his final stint there, in 2018, he appeared to indicate progress. Last fall, he and his brother went to dinner in Atlantic City. “It was a decent night,” Nick Jovanovic mentioned.

But by means of the winter Pavle started to fade. He removed his cellphone and started sleeping on the sofa on the steel works. Then, on April 6, Nick Jovanovic observed his brother shaking below a trailer as he held a welding torch, attempting to carry out what can be their final job collectively.

“I kept asking him if he was OK, telling him he could stop and I would finish up,” Nick mentioned. “He kept saying, ‘Don’t worry about it. I got it.’”

Going by means of his brother’s prescriptions after his suicide, Nick Jovanovic discovered bottles of tablets to deal with his psychological well being issues, and one for Benztropine, a drug used to deal with the shakes and tremors that individuals with Parkinson’s or on antipsychotic medicines usually expertise.

“I think he knew that things were not going to get better,” Nick Jovanovic mentioned. “He didn’t have any answers anymore.”

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