Jockey Rene Douglas, injured in a spill during the Grade III Matron Handicap at Arlington Park on Saturday, underwent seven hours of surgery at Northwestern Hospital and did not have feeling in his lower extremities. After the surgery, doctors said the 42-year-old rider may never walk again.
The Blood Horse is reporting that Douglas’ agent, Dennis Cooper, said doctors won’t be 100 percent sure until after the swelling goes down in 10 days to two weeks.
“But it doesn’t look good,” Cooper told Blood Horse. “It’s devastating.”
Cooper said Douglas will remain in intensive care for two weeks at Northwestern until he’s moved to rehab.
A team of specialists made efforts to repair compressed vertebrae and damage to Douglas’ neck. But the main concerns involved the jockey’s spinal cord, which may have been damaged by a fragment of splintered bone, according to Cooper.
This is very sad news. Good rider and classy individual. Please keep him in your prayers, folks, and let’s hope the doctors are wrong.