Beadman making progress
Darren Beadman has had some qualified good news after an all-important MRI scan last Thursday of the head injuries that have kept him sidelined since mid-February, and he hopes to return home to Australia soon to continue his rehabilitation.
Beadman emerged from his February 17 barrier trial fall with a fracture to his right cheekbone but, more importantly, suffered brain trauma which has affected his balance and speech since and the latest MRI was expected to show his doctors how much progress he has made.
'The good news is I haven't gone backwards. The specialist said there were some signs of progress and there is hope that with the right rest and rehabilitation, I will recover,' Beadman said. 'And I have been cleared to fly again. I've been in touch with Nathan Gibbs in Australia, who works with a lot of the top footballers, and I'm looking to go back to Sydney and do my rehab with him and I'll be able to get any further treatment that's needed.'
The stutter Beadman had developed soon after the accident is no longer apparent, but the jockey said he had been forced to make a conscious effort to slow down all aspects of his life, including speech. 'I've slowed down generally and I've slowed my speech right down so I can keep it under control,' he said.
As far as the other effects of the fall, Beadman said any progress that had been detected on the MRI scan of his brain had not really been apparent to him.
'The problem with a closed head injury is that nobody can see what's going on inside - that's why you need the MRI and I'm happy that they can see progress but to me it feels much the same. The balance problems, the vertigo, the headaches are all still there,' he explained. 'It's very frustrating, but that's where I'm at.'
But whatever optimism the latest MRI might have generated with his doctors, Beadman said even the thought of riding again was something he was trying not to consider.
'A psychologist at the hospital asked me what my aims are with my treatment and asked me to prioritise them,' he said. 'I said that first was my health and my family and we'll worry about it later whether my career continues or not. The main thing I have to do is get my body right again.'