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brain dead jockeys
11 Apr 15 19:23
Date Joined: 14 Jun 05
| Topic/replies: 4,262 | Blogger: brain dead jockeys's blog

had surgery to remove haematova pressing on spinal cord..........think this is a blood swelling............i hope he will be ok.
Pause Switch to Standard View Robbie Mcnamara
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Report punchestown April 11, 2015 7:25 PM BST
ROBBIE McNAMARA has undergone surgery after suffering serious injuries in a fall at Wexford on Friday.

The 26-year-old rider, who was due to partner the Jim Culloty-trained Lord Windermere in the Crabbie's Grand National, was transferred from hospital in Wexford to Dublin on Friday night and Culloty revealed on Saturday that the rider had undergone surgery to remove a haematoma pressing on his spinal cord.

Culloty told Channel 4 Racing before the Grand National: "My heart is thinking of Robbie McNamara at the moment. He is in surgery at the minute. As well as eight broken ribs and a punctured lung, he fractured his T11 vertebrae and there is a bit of spinal damage.

"There is a big haematoma on his spine pressing on his spinal cord and they are trying to remove that at the moment. My prayers are with him."

McNamara was riding Bursledon in division one of a 2m handicap hurdle when the five-year-old fell four out.

McNamara, who turned professional in November, rode two winners at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival as an amateur.

He won the Champion Bumper on the Dermot Weld-trained Silver Concorde and the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase on the Culloty-trained Grand National runner Spring Heeled.

Brian O'Connell replaced McNamara aboard Lord Windermere.
Report punchestown April 11, 2015 7:29 PM BST
For anybody not familiar with copy and pasting links,this is the Indo article
McNamara was transferred to the Mater hospital from Wexford General Hospital and Culloty told the Racing Post that the rider had undergone surgery to remove a haematoma pressing on his spinal cord.
"My heart is thinking of Robbie McNamara at the moment," Culloty told Channel 4 Racing before the Grand National. "He is in surgery at the minute. As well as eight broken ribs and a punctured lung, he fractured his T11 vertebrae and there is a bit of spinal damage.

"There is a big haematoma on his spine pressing on his spinal cord and they are trying to remove that at the moment. My prayers are with him."
The jockey was due to partner last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere in Saturday's Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree

McNamara, who rode a double at last year's Cheltenham Festival as an amateur before turning professional earlier this season, was partnering 14-1 shot Bursledon when he came to grief four flights from the finish in the first division of the Cahore Point Handicap Hurdle.
He was taken to Wexford General Hosptial, where he underwent a CT scan, before being transferred.

Dr Adrian McGoldrick, chief medical advisor for the Irish Turf Club, said: "Robbie has chest, abdominal and spinal injuries and has been transferred to Mater (Hospital).
"I have spoken to his family and we have agreed there will be no further comment until Sunday, by which time he will have undergone further scans."
Report wildmanfromborneo April 11, 2015 7:36 PM BST
Ah sure according to Premier Fantasy its not a tough job at all,anyone showing concern for jockeys is spouting rubbish.

Tell The King glibly says sure its part and parcel of the game and they are entitled to no extra money on account of this danger.

I constantly hear the midget jibes and the latest men of limited intelligence,it sickens me.

These are the bravest of men,they are treated disgracefully and savagely underpaid.
Report frank60 April 11, 2015 7:46 PM BST
I had a look at the fall Wildman [atr] and its X rated Stuff, Robbie's future lies in the hands of the Specialists.We wish him well.
Report wildmanfromborneo April 11, 2015 7:51 PM BST
They are all very down at the moment,news not good.
Report Monte Christo April 11, 2015 8:35 PM BST
Very sad news indeed.

Thoughts and best wishes to him and his family and friends at this difficult time.

Agree with wildman here. NH jockeys are the bravest men I know.
Report pa lapsy April 11, 2015 8:53 PM BST
Robbie had 100 rides in the last 12 months,gets a percentage of prize money and a bit for riding out,given he is a fairly high profile jockey he certainly wouldn't get rich on that.
Hope for the long shot it isn't as bad as feared.
Report olddesperado April 11, 2015 9:03 PM BST
Is he anything to JT mcnamara by the way
Report pa lapsy April 11, 2015 9:05 PM BST
Report olddesperado April 11, 2015 9:07 PM BST
Cheers, tough on the families but hopefully this is not as bad.
Report TellTheKing April 11, 2015 9:08 PM BST
Wildman I thought you would be above grandstanding after such a horrible accident. Nobody has denied it's a potentially dangerous sport. No-one knows this more than the jockeys though it's a risk they accept when getting into riding.

Your idea of "danger money" is foolish. They are paid fair rates and lucrative careers are there for the ones good enough.

It is pretty distasteful to be discussing money on such a thread and I just hope that the prognosis isn't as pessimistic as feared.
Report punchestown April 11, 2015 9:11 PM BST
From 8pm this eve /Irish racing
Robbie McNamara is reported to "very stable" after undergoing spinal surgery at the Mater Hospital in Dublin on Saturday.
The jockey was due to partner last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere in the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree, but suffered multiple injuries after coming to grief in a fall at Wexford.

He was initially taken to Wexford General Hospital, before being transferred on Friday night.

Dr Adrian McGoldrick, chief medical advisor for the Irish Turf Club, said: "Robbie has multiple fractures, abdominal bleeding and a collapsed lung.

"He had spinal surgery this morning and is in the high dependency unit at Mater (Hospital), but he is very stable.

"We will hopefully have more news on Sunday. He is certainly in a lot better place than he was last night."
Report punchestown April 11, 2015 9:12 PM BST
Sounds a little bit better lads...
Report olddesperado April 11, 2015 9:15 PM BST
God i dont know, still sounds bad to me
Report punchestown April 11, 2015 9:17 PM BST
Just going by the last line in the article olddesperado.
Report olddesperado April 11, 2015 9:29 PM BST
These guys love what they are doing and the rewards for the top guys are great but the downside is the very serious chance of life changing injury.

There seems to be about 1 a year of fatality ,serious head or spinal injury from either rules or between the flags.

This from a pool of about 250 im guessing.

I wouldnt fancy those odds facing into every year.
Report norn iron April 11, 2015 9:36 PM BST
Report frank60 April 11, 2015 9:42 PM BST
TY Punch for the update.
Report wildmanfromborneo April 11, 2015 9:51 PM BST
Tell The King doubt Jonjo Bright had a lucrative career,doubt Robbie Mac has had a lucrative career.
Report workrider April 11, 2015 9:53 PM BST
Yes thanks indeed Punch , makes you grateful sometimes just to have the use of your limbs , hopefully this young man makes a full recovery ...As Norn says , Robbie will be in our prayers tonight...
Report paulie wallnuts April 11, 2015 10:18 PM BST
It's obviously a dreadful thing to happen the poor chap.....I think everybody is in agreement there.....but most sports have risks ... Some bigger than others....there are many sporting people who have either lost their lives .....or had them changed dramatically because of what they chose to get involved in....I wouldn't take any notice of that gobber wild dan ....
Report wildmanfromborneo April 11, 2015 10:29 PM BST
What sport has risks like that?
What sport has so little reward for its stars ?

Whatever about not minding me doubt ye should mind Paulie who refers to them as midgets and runts and infamously said you would hardly have any of them as dinner guests.
Report paulie wallnuts April 11, 2015 10:36 PM BST
Try telling the families of Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher that their sport wasn't dangerous....or Mohammed Ali maybe....
Report wildmanfromborneo April 11, 2015 10:57 PM BST
Ayrton Senna was killed 21 years ago.
Michael Schumachers injuries were caused in a skiing accident nothing to do with motor racing.

Both men had lucrative careers,they were paid millions.

Motor racing used to be a very dangerous sport alright but it isint anymore.

Jockeys are engaged in the most dangerous sport of all and it gets me when they are treated so badly,paid so badly.
Report paulie wallnuts April 11, 2015 11:04 PM BST
There are plenty jockeys who get well paid...and there are plenty who pay themselves .....
Report workrider April 11, 2015 11:09 PM BST
D  ?
Report MCKENNA April 11, 2015 11:09 PM BST
Thinking of Robbie and all his family tonight as they wait for positive news, we can only imagine what they are going through right now.

No matter what your religious beliefs are,everyone should ask the Man above to look after Robbie and get him through this safely,no doubt the best medical people will be caring for him,lets all hope they will be do their brilliant best for him.

Stay safe Robbie,we are all behind you.
Report Jumping April 12, 2015 6:16 AM BST
Yes McKenna I agree. An officer and a gentleman is robbie. Andy a gentle giant also. A great racing family that do not deserve this. Let's hope robbie is ok! I always enjoy meeting his father racing Andrew snr. First man to congratulate owners and also first man go console owners at all the festivals. Just a great racing family!! Our thoughts and prayers are with you robbie.
Report Ozymandius April 12, 2015 9:34 AM BST
Shameful that this thread should descend into a point scoring exercise.

Fingers crossed for the lad.
Report wildmanfromborneo April 12, 2015 9:44 AM BST
So shameful that Ozymandius descended to do a bit of point scoring of his own.
Report wee sammy April 12, 2015 10:44 AM BST
Seems like the operation went very well lets hope Robbie continues to improve !
Report workrider April 12, 2015 10:59 AM BST
Good news Wee Sammy
Report tony57 April 12, 2015 12:36 PM BST
I feel for the family I love Robbie mac, best pair of hands in the business imo,so underrated, just hope the docs get him thru it, and he can come back maybe to a tv job...
Report punchestown April 12, 2015 6:04 PM BST
Robbie McNamara was described as being in "very good spirits" in hospital in Dublin on Sunday as he recovers from serious injuries suffered in a fall at Wexford on Friday.

"He was very stable overnight and in very good spirits. He doesn't want to say any more at this stage and you can understand that," said Dr Adrian McGoldrick, chief medical officer for the Irish Turf Club.

"It was serious chest, abdominal and spinal injuries. The spinal injuries have been operated on and that's stabilized. The next phase is recuperation and we'll take it from there."

McGoldrick added that Davy Condon, who was taken to hospital with concussion following the National after a fall from Portrait King, was set to return home on Monday.
Report Ozymandius April 12, 2015 6:07 PM BST
Great news, thanks.
Report punchestown April 13, 2015 10:08 AM BST
From this morning 8.32 AM
In news which will delight his many friends and supporters, McNamara tweeted: "Like to thank everyone for the kind words. Ribs and spine very stiff and sore but Op went well. Plenty of work ahead."

He was transferred to the Mater Hospital spinal unit from Wexford County Hospital on Friday night and he underwent surgery on Saturday morning.

He had been due to ride the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere in the Grand National on Saturday.
Report tony57 April 13, 2015 7:38 PM BST
nice..wellsaid oz..
Report frank60 April 13, 2015 9:04 PM BST
Good to hear Punch, I had a chat with Robbie at one cheltenham previews last year nice lad,
Report punchestown April 14, 2015 2:34 AM BST
Frank,that whole extended family sound like really nice respectable people who have had more than their fair share of grief.
Report frank60 April 14, 2015 2:12 PM BST
He said to me if i remember that he would like to do T.V. work someday Punch.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan April 22, 2015 11:10 AM BST
"No feeling in my legs at the min, but it's early days" - McNamara hopeful of full recovery after horror fall.
Report brain dead jockeys April 23, 2015 7:42 PM BST
robbies attitude is amazing. said today that the feeling in his legs has not come back yet. we are all hoping it comes back soon robbie. best of luck mate.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan April 29, 2015 2:40 PM BST
"1st day in the gym over, loved every minute of it. Roll on tomorrow" - RMac.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan July 25, 2015 5:45 PM BST
Remember Forgotten Rules runs all year for Injured Jockeys Fund. "Had a lovely trip to Moyglare Stud to meet up with my old friend Forgotten Rules. He was asking what happened" - Robbie Mac
Report Catch Me ifyoucan July 25, 2015 6:03 PM BST
An inspiration that he back on a horse - am sure everyone wishes him continued success in rehab.
Report punchestown July 25, 2015 8:39 PM BST
Report STELLAR MANIPULATOR July 26, 2015 12:39 AM BST
Just read fascinating detailed poignant but uplifting piece in RP Sunday - worth checking out
Report Catch Me ifyoucan July 26, 2015 5:48 PM BST
Someone please copy/paste it on here tks
Report punchestown July 26, 2015 8:02 PM BST
McNamara: 'I don't see myself as being disabled'


The seriously injured jockey tells Jonathan Mullin how he has turned a corner. This article first appeared in RPSunday, our brilliant 16-page supplement available every week

AFTER the carnage and the confusion came the clarity. "I remember everything about the fall and the hours after, but then nothing at all until two days after when I came around in the Mater Hospital after the operation, and on the Saturday night, I remember my parents were there by my bed, my brother Andrew was there, and they were all crying. I said to them, if you want to cry, **** off and do it somewhere else, because I'm not crying."

It is 16 months since Robbie McNamara confirmed with stylistic brilliance his gifted riding skills with winning rides in Cheltenham's Kim Muir and Weatherbys Champion Bumper; eight months since a classy amateur jockey turned professional and 14 weeks since McNamara fell from Bursledon in a handicap hurdle at Wexford on April 10.

The clear-minded determination and positivity he showed the moment his eyes opened after life-saving surgery may have taken a few blows in the meantime, but remain intact.

Even though there was enough time in that split second for McNamara to contemplate how he would roll away from his own crash, what no jockey could forecast was what was coming from behind and the impact, as a horse hit him in the back, he described at the time as like being hit by a lorry.

Broken ribs, a collapsed lung, internal bleeding and fractured vertebrae were only the beginning of the physical damage; almost as bad was the mental anguish, for him, his family and for a floored racing public still coming to terms with the serious injuries suffered by his first cousin John Thomas McNamara.

He was rushed to Wexford hospital before life-saving surgery in Dublin's Mater Hospital the following day, and eight weeks later left for the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoighre, five kilometres from Leopardstown racecourse.

In a little ward in a little hospital, most come through the automatic doors knowing that life will scarcely be the same when they come out. For many just being alive after serious illness or accident is reason enough to be positive, and there is a relaxed ambience with smiling staff treading the corridors.

More positive and relaxed than most, Robbie McNamara sits in his wheelchair near the foot of his bed, his the middle of three in a room painted an uneasy orange, and he looks out the clerestory windows into the bright blue sky.

"The best day I've had since the fall was a Thursday two weeks ago," he says. "It was the first day a few things went wrong and it didn't get on top of me. I knew I was able to take things on the chin and I realised I was turning a corner. Before, if a little thing went wrong and another little thing went wrong, it would really get to me and I couldn't deal with it. That Thursday, four or five things went wrong for me and I was fine after it; since then I haven't had a bad day.

"I love it here. I have physio at half-eight and nine o'clock every morning and I thrive on that. Most people in here would do an hour's physio but I'd do three hours a day. I have leg splints that keep your legs dead straight and I stand up in those for about 40 minutes every day and that's why my legs are still strong.

"The one thing you'd be worried about is your ankles or your knees callusing up - every day, first thing in the morning, I'd spend about 15 minutes stretching my knees, my ankles and my toes. I was petrified that my legs would look paralysed and they don't, not one bit. I'd say I've never been as fit as I've been in my life - and I've another six weeks to go in here. I'll be like Rocky when I get out!"

And there have been plenty of away days too. He went to Navan to see his protege Forgotten Rules win the Coolmore Vintage Crop Stakes and was at the Curragh for the Irish Derby meeting - and a raucous night in Newbridge town.

"I met loads of people at the Curragh, had a great day, enjoyed every minute of it and drank plenty of champagne," he says. "I went into Cunningham's pub afterwards in the wheelchair and next thing the place erupted! Johnny King [well-known amateur jockey and friend] pulled me out of the wheelchair, up on to his shoulders and fired me up on a big high stool. About ten minutes later the band started playing upstairs and Johnny had to throw me up on the shoulders again and up the stairs, back down on to another high stool! We had a great night, great craic. That was a good day."

That's the good part of the story - front and centre the news everybody so wants to hear that it hurts: Robbie McNamara is doing great, mentally and physically, refusing to let the fact his legs don't work define him and the rest of his life. In one way his bravery and his attitude make you feel inadequate, but, overwhelmingly, in another way it fills you with joy.
Report punchestown July 26, 2015 8:03 PM BST
Dark days

McNAMARA will be back in racing very soon - a training career is planned - and he is within touching distance of an independent future despite injuries that made him wonder whether he would make it through. But it scarcely tells the full story of a three-month journey equal parts horrific and heroic and, in hushed, almost hurt tones, McNamara relives the darkest days of his 26 years.

"The thing in the Mater that frightened the living **** out of me was that I thought it was all over, for a week and a half I thought I was gone. Dead. And it frightened me so much to feel that negativity was there, that I couldn't find any positives. My personality was gone. There was none of the calmness I'd always have. I was shaking. My head was between my knees. It scared me that this would change my personality, that my way of floating along and dealing with things was gone. All my life that's the way I was. Sure I'd get pissed off and annoyed, but an hour later I'd be grand."

He begins a wry smile. "I remember I bought a horse three years ago and paid about 15 grand for him. The next day I went out and I thought he was after breaking his leg. I brought him to the vet and I presumed he was dead. Fifteen grand, gone! But by the time the vet rang me back I had already gotten over it, I was grand [and the horse turned out to be fine too!].

"And that's the way I always was. Things would happen and I'd get pissed off but I wouldn't wallow. In the Mater I couldn't shake it off. Dark thoughts all day and all night.

"It just seemed for that week and a half everything went wrong," he says. "I was supposed to go to Dun Laoighre but the date was moved. Different things went wrong every single day and I think the medication was a lot to do with it. I was waking up every day and my heart felt like it was in my stomach.

"I felt like getting sick all day. My head was gone, I couldn't think for myself and I was so frightened. Like, I knew my fate, I knew I was paralysed. But I knew I could still do everything on my own. At the start that was a big help but it did wear off.

"The first thing they say to you in Dun Laoighre is don't worry about the other patients, don't be thinking ‘oh this poor lad is worse than me' and so on. As soon as you get into your room on your own they don't matter. It's what is wrong with yourself."
Report punchestown July 26, 2015 8:04 PM BST
Rock bottom

THESE traumatic days will surprise those who followed McNamara on Twitter, and saw positive updates and pictures posted from his hospital bed.

"Everything wasn't as rosy as I made out," he admits now. "I was writing on Twitter at the start and I was feeling good, but people probably noticed there was nothing from me for a month," he says, with a two-word explanation of just where he was holed up for that time - "rock bottom".

"I came off the medication and what I was on would be the next thing to heroin really. I was on a morphine pump every six minutes. The IV drip fell out one day and I went about 15 minutes without it and I thought my rib cage was coming out through my chest, I was in that much pain. That went on for six weeks.

"They say that spinal shock lasts six weeks and I was well aware that no feeling was going to come back, but I still had that glimmer of hope. And when that six-week mark hit that's when my fate really set in. That was going to be tough on its own, but it was also the same time I came off the medication. The two hitting together? Christ . . . " he says, teeth gritted, the memory still scraping a nerve.

"That feeling of your heart dropping? That's the feeling I had all day. It wasn't me thinking these terrible things, my legs aren't working, or anything like that. I was just so worried and so anxious, my heart was down here, I felt like getting sick all of the time. I couldn't do anything about it.

"It was very tough having my parents there at that time. I wouldn't have got through without them but at times . . . I was waking up in the mornings and trying my best, trying to spend the whole day not breaking down in tears and when my parents were there I didn't want to do it in front of them," says McNamara, clearly upset, and the only time in the whole interview he finds it difficult to finish his sentences. He is very close to his father Andrew snr, mother Kathleen, brother Andrew and sister Elizabeth.

"I think, in ways, the support got me through it, but the hardest part of the whole lot was the people around me struggling. I was feeling guilty over hurting them and I didn't want to talk to my mother and father about it. Not because I couldn't talk to them about it - I can talk to them about anything, they're unbelievable - but it would put more pressure on them and I knew if I talked to them . . . they were close to breaking already.

"It was week eight when I left the Mater. I came in here on the Friday evening and nothing happens here at the weekend, nothing at all. I was put straight into the big ward and I closed over the curtains for the weekend, didn't want to know. That was only six weeks ago and I was still in hell then.

"Everyone knew I was struggling but didn't know how bad I was. Mark Enright and Mikey Fogarty were a big help, they were the two I confided in. They weren't there holding my hand for six weeks or anything but I rang Mikey one day to see if he was about and told him to call in. I talked to him one evening and that was tough. Mikey knows the story and he was a great help. Mark the same. They got me back on an upward curve."


AT THE top of that upward curve, says McNamara, was what he calls his "epiphany", that Thursday when he climbed from the mire and realised that life was manageable, that his way of floating through adversity was possible.

"That Thursday I chatted to a very good social worker, told her that I couldn't possibly go any lower. She said you can gauge when you come out of rock bottom and that you can take solace that you went as low as you possibly could and you got out of it. In saying that, if something like that happened again, I'd be gone, I wouldn't be able for it. But it is there for me that I know I got that low and came through.

"I swear to God I haven't had a bad day since. I'm probably better than before I got the fall," he smiles. "Every single day I've got up and I've been in good form, I'm my usual self and that's been since the epiphany. The conversation with her, the few things going wrong that didn't bother me, I've turned the corner."

He leaves Dun Laoighre in early September and will do so as independent as he was before they jumped off at Wexford. The only differences he sees is those ordinary things he took for granted - getting showered, getting dressed - take five times longer. But Robbie McNamara will soon be driving again, on the road and on the golf course.

"At the start there was a thing whether I'd move to Limerick or move to Kildare and, while it would have been so much easier to move to Limerick, it's not what I would have done before I got the fall, so it's not what I'd do after.

"I'm not going to change my life because of this. I have great craic during the day. Okay, it takes me a bit longer to do things but it doesn't bother me, this is three months in, and I've got used to it already.

"If a cure comes I'll be fit and, subconsciously, I'll be ready. I'm keeping light, I'm watching what I eat. If you're 15 stone and you're trying to lump yourself into the bed you wouldn't have the mobility that I want. That would disable you. The fitter I get, the more muscle I get, because if I had to get a hand getting in somewhere that would put me in bad form. I'd get pissed off over it, because then I'd be disabled.

"I can drive now and am in the process of buying a car; once I get that I'll be away. I am fit and I am strong. I can go out to the car and jump in in three seconds, the same as getting in before. I don't see myself as being disabled. I'll be back playing golf soon to prove a point to myself. I'm going to ride out to prove a point to myself. It's not to do anything for anybody else, it's just for me, to beat this thing.

"The goal is get out of here, get working. That's the long-term goal: get back to my life. You ask anyone five years ago whether if I had a choice between riding and training and they'd tell you that I'd have given up riding in the morning - training was always what I wanted to do.

"I know I'm not going to start off with any €200,000 horses in the yard, so I've got to be realistic. I'll base myself in the Curragh to begin with but if I could get up to a certain number I could move home to Limerick and do it up, there's 35 or so stables at home at the minute.

"I know I was lucky in my career to be able to ride out in Dermot Weld's, in Jessie's, in Willie's. From day one I wanted to be a trainer so I've always kept my eyes open and tried to learn how different trainers do things."

Last season McNamara rented a yard at the Curragh and successfully brought young horses from the sales into point-to-points, finding buyers for several of them. There will be support from many quarters, although you guess his biggest fans are still back in Limerick, his mom and his dad.

"I've seen just how the difference in me over the past two weeks has led to a difference in my parents," says Robbie.

"I was leaving home in Limerick today - my father was bringing me up and my mother was staying at home. We were in the car and she was waving goodbye. We went off, forgot something and came back and she was still waving goodbye, but she was nearly crying, she was so happy to see me back to myself."

And so say all of us.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan July 26, 2015 9:12 PM BST
Report workrider July 26, 2015 9:43 PM BST
Smashing stuff .
Report Catch Me ifyoucan July 27, 2015 10:06 PM BST
HOPE Silver Concorde wins on Wednesday.
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