Setback for Jockey Douglas in Recovery
by Claire Novak
Date Posted: 6/26/2009 9:04:17 AM
Last Updated: 6/27/2009 10:00:30 AM

Rene Douglas
Photo: Four Footed Fotos

Jockey Rene Douglas, seriously injured in a May 23 racing accident at Arlington Park, suffered a setback in his recovery process June 21 when he was transferred from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago back to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Douglas, 42, developed an infection in his left lung after aggressively pursuing rehab following an eight-hour surgery performed May 24 on his spinal cord. He has still not regained feeling from the chest down.

According to family spokesperson Doreen Razo, doctors drained a liter of fluid from Douglas’ lung June 22. He had been through a bout of pneumonia after being on a respirator following surgery, and although he was removed from the respirator June 2 and was making progress in rehab, the infection recently returned. An assessment was to be made June 25 by Douglas’ personal physician, Dr. Hilton Gordon, and doctors hoped to move Douglas back to the Rehabilitation Institute on June 25 or June 26.

“His attitude is positive and he was just a little too aggressive when they started rehab, he was like, ‘Come on, let’s go!’ ” said Razo, the wife of jockey Eddie Razo. “I’m not sure if he’s ready to be moved back or not but it all depends on his blood count and on the results of chest x-rays that were to be taken this morning.”

Douglas was injured in the Arlington Matron stakes when his mount, Born to Be, was jostled by Sky Mom, ridden by Jamie Theriot, at the top of the stretch at the Chicago oval. Born to Be clipped heels and fell, rolling over on top of Douglas and pinning him to the track.

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