Mrs. Jerkens reports that artificial respiration for the 71-year-old has been reduced to 50% as his lungs show improvement, and that the medical staff is hopeful that Jerkens can be discharged from Intensive Care within seven to ten days.
Jerkens has been in the South Florida hospital, adjacent to Gulfstream Park, since Dec. 23 when he was rushed to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. As his blood pressure plummeted, Mrs. Jerkens was fearful for her husband's life. "There were five or six hours where we really thought we might lose him, " she recalled, "The doctors told me we would have if his heart wasn't so strong."
Son James Jerkens has taken command of his father's stable in the interim, traveling from his base in New York to Hallandale on a regular basis. "Since Jimmy has worked with his dad for so long, nothing will change there," Mrs. Jerkens' said.