Beadman suffers serious relapse

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2012, 12:00am


Top jockey Darren Beadman said yesterday he was back to square one as he approaches the end of his first month of rehabilitation from head and face injuries suffered in a barrier trial fall at Sha Tin.

Beadman, 46, fractured his right cheek bone on February 17 when his mount broke down in the early stages of the trial and he was flung on to the ground.

However, the cheek injury is the least of his concerns.

His major issues are nerve damage to his brain, which is causing dizziness and an accompanying loss of balance.

After Beadman (pictured) had felt some slow progress was being made in the two weeks after the fall, he was readmitted to hospital late last week and has remained there after a serious relapse set off during his treatment.

'They had me sitting upright on a mattress and then quickly lying back, a sort of simulation of the fall, and my body memory just kicked into gear and it all happened over again,' Beadman said. 'My brain seemed to remember everything that it had been through and just lost it. My balance went again. I was dizzy and I was a very sick boy last Thursday.'

Beadman said he was 'having a good day' yesterday but he had been battling his emotions after this setback.

'I felt I was back where I had started and that was getting me down. I'm better today and definitely better mentally,' he said.

Beadman has also developed a stutter in his speech since the episode. 'The doctor told me the stuttering was caused by anxiety. It's an emotional, mental thing rather than a part of the brain injury, and he told me that would go.'

He said he had different specialists working on his recovery but there was no updated opinion on when he might begin to ride again after this latest setback. Doctors had previously suggested a return late next month.

'They said it's just time and there's nothing that can be done about that,' Beadman said. 'It can't be hurried and it isn't something you want to take any risks with either.'

Earlier plans to operate on the fractured right cheekbone remain on hold, with doctors unwilling to anaesthetise him in his current condition.

The news was better for another injured jockey. Jacky Tong Chi-kit was cleared to ride tomorrow night at Happy Valley after suffering minor bruising when he was dislodged from Phantom Philip at Sha Tin at the weekend.