Rene Douglas

Rene Douglas

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Douglas' Wife: Too Soon to Assess Condition

Rene Douglas' wife said it's too soon to jump to conclusions about his condition.

The wife of injured jockey Rene Douglas said May 28 it’s too early to say her husband won’t regain use of his legs.

Natalie Douglas, in an interview on Race Day America on the racing network HRTV, said there has been miscommunication as to Rene Douglas’ condition. The rider was seriously injured May 23 in a racing accident at Arlington Park in Illinois.

Douglas’ agent, Dennis Cooper, indicated soon after the accident the early prognosis wasn’t good, though he said there was an outside chance things could turn around in the next few weeks.

“I think probably it was too early to tell,” Natalie Douglas told HRTV hosts. “They’re saying, ‘As of now, he can't feel his legs and cannot move them.’ Doctors have said from the very beginning, from the moment of the surgery, they have to give this time. It may be two weeks, or more, when the swelling is down.

”So, we need to give his body time to relax and time to heal. And once that happens, we will know, or at least get a better idea, of what’s going to happen with his legs. But he’s very strong, and his mind is in the right place. It’s just the game of waiting right now.”

She also said her husband’s spine wasn’t severed, so doctors are “hopeful” Douglas will recover.

“For people to assume he’s paralyzed, I don’t know where they’re coming from. Right now, yes, he cannot feel (his legs), but that doesn’t mean that this is permanent. It means that he had a very long surgery—a very difficult surgery—that was a success. They’re waiting for the swelling to come down to see what happens.”

Douglas communicates regularly with his family, and “his mind is clear,” his wife told HRTV.