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December 28, 2010

Torres' Condition Upgraded

Steeplechase jockey Jorge Torres remains unconscious after a fall on Nov. 13 at the Colonial Cup meet (S.C.), but he is showing improvement.

The 25-year-old was critically injured when his mount, Rafael Fernandez’s Class Moon, fell over the third hurdle from home in the $25,000 hurdle stakes for 3-year-olds. The horse was unhurt in the accident.

Torres suffered a severe concussion, a broken pelvis and fractures in his back and was airlifted to Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, S.C., where he remains at press time. 

A native of Mexico and a resident of Camden, the apprentice jockey has worked with several steeplechase trainers including Jonathan Sheppard and Richard and Lilith Boucher. 

“His coma has been upgraded from a 4 to a 9, which is good I am told,” said Richard Boucher, who saw Torres just before Christmas. “He has been listed to ‘regular’ instead of  ‘critical’ in the intensive care unit. One of his eyes appears to follow voices he’s hearing. He does not move his arms but has moved his legs and feet, so they do not think he has any paralysis.”

The family said there would be another CAT scan when the swelling had decreased to determine the extent of his brain injuries.

Lilith Boucher is impressed with the family’s devotion and faith during this difficult time. 

“I have never seen anything like this,” she said. “They are the epitome of what being a family is all about. It’s beyond goodness; they love and adore this man. They are so devoted and would care for him forever. They have made a believer out of me. ”

She added, “If anyone in this world needs a miracle, Jorge does. He’s the hardest working man I have ever met. He would work for Jonathan all morning, come work for us, then be happy to help take the twins out on ponies later. He’s that generous and nice of a person.”

A fund has been set up through Wachovia Bank and Wells Fargo to offset medical costs. People wishing to donate can go to those banks or can call (803) 425-7760 or (800) 422-4684 and ask about the Torres Assistance Fund. 

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