Rich Vito

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    Gayle Vito

    As you come into the completion of the racing season, I wanted you to know that Rich Vito is still hospitalized and struggling with his injuries. While many positives have happened, you may want to know that he spent Friday, September 18th in the hospital receiving a new pic and peg line to deliver medications and food to him.

    On Sunday, the 20th, he was taken back to the hospital with a possible heart attack. They could not confirm a heart attack, so he was sent back to the Long Term Acute Hospital. I spent the entire day with him on Friday and Sunday as he struggled to get well. I guess I just want everyone to know that there is the possibility of danger in racing and that an accident can change a life and a families lives forever.

    Please remember Rich and do not take your life or health for granted!

    Gayle Vito



    Rich has had a tough summer, but he’s made progress. We’re pulling for him to get over this setback as well. We’re always thinking of Rich, you, and your family and hoping for his recovery.


    Mike Jansen

    He might be out of our view but we all need to say a daily or weekly prayer for our fellow competitor… And Gayle for her challenges on a daily basis!



    I’m really sorry to hear about Rich. Rich was one of the first people I met when I started karting and was very friendly and helpful. Please pass along my best wishes to get well soon!

    Tony Costello

    Mike Jansen

    First off: I in no way am blowing my own horn.

    That said, how many of us have actually gone and seen Rich? Yes, I know, Johnstown is an hour away; I’m real busy; it doesn’t fit in my schedule; etc.

    I went and saw him several weeks ago. He looked at me and quit fidgeting when I started talking about his CRG Rotax kart and our time racing against each other. People with injuries of the brain need to be reminded of things from the past and their passions. In my opinion it reconnects things. Make it a point if you know Rich to go see him if you can. Talk to him about the karting season and what it’s meant to you. Talk to him about his kart and thank him for the time he lent you “X” or helped you make the green flag by working or suggesting things on your kart. It helps him and (surprize) it’ll help you too.

    [email protected]

    In Response to Mike Jansen’s Post:

    Well said, Mike, all around…..

    It’s true that when things like this happen many people can’t deal with it, and that is really hard on those like Rich. He needs that support now more than ever, as face-to-face, recollection-encouraging visits can make a real difference. We have experienced this first-hand since my wife’s stroke, and as being ignored broke her heart in many ways thankfully enough people stayed involved to make the difference. People like you, Mike, DO make a difference, though often that’s hard to see early on.

    In our case, when my wife was essentially no longer herself, I spoke constantly to her — while both awake and asleep — about backpacking and climbing mountains again, which is both our passion and our living. I had her watch races again and replayed our helmet-cams from karting, reminding her who was who one person at a time. Months later, she acknowledged always KNOWING she’d climb again but had no idea where that idea came from.

    I don’t know Rich well, but encourage those who do to take the time to visit him. Bring pictures, tell stories, and don’t be afraid of saying the wrong thing — treat him the same as you did before and the more people that do that, the faster he’ll be Rich again. Yes, I understand it’s scary to see a loved one like this, but keep perspective that you’re lucky it’s not you — being involved can change your life.

    Eric Wunrow

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