Jockey Eibar Coa took an ugly spill today at Gulfstream. Last I heard, he still has no feeling in arms or legs. He'll be going in for surgery on his c-4 vert tomorrow morning, from what I'm being told. He might be a jackass at times, but I'd prefer him to be a HEALTHY jackass! So, jingles, folks? Here's a link to the bloodhorse article: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-raci...lfstream-spill
Eibar, who just turned 40 last week, has some upper body movement and feeling following Saturday's surgery but only in his arms. He'll have another procedure either today or Tuesday. TB Times update Sun 2-20 @ 7pm:
Jockey Eibar Coa has some movement in his arms and shoulders with feeling throughout his body following surgery on Saturday to repair a broken C4 vertebra.
According to his agent, Tito Fuentes, Coa has no movement in his legs but remains in good spirits. He is scheduled to undergo a second surgery on Monday or Tuesday at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.
“As of now, he can move his arms and he can feel everything,” Fuentes said on Sunday morning. “He just can’t move everything, but that isn’t to say that won’t change.”
Wishing him all the best with the upcoming surgery as any life altering injury is terrible.
Over the past decade Naylor has persevered. In addition, he has championed a cure for spinal injuries and has given a reported $3 million to help fund research at Michigan State University. While his horses will compete in the 2011 NSA campaign, Naylor may be on hiatus. Last fall he agreed to take part in groundbreaking stem cell research treatments and is slated to undergo stem-cell surgery in April.
Shortly after his accident Naylor says he turned his interest, instincts and intellect toward a cure for his paralysis. Initially, he sought out researchers at Advanced Cell Technology that had been involved in the cloning of Dolly the sheep.
Naylor recognized stem cell research as his best hope, and the best hope for others suffering from paralysis. Many experts believe that stem cell therapy could transform medical treatments for "incurable" diseases such as spinal cord injury, heart failure, Parkinson's disease, kidney failure, retinal degeneration, and diabetes. The confusion surrounding “human embryonic stem cells” and “human therapeutic cloning” research has led to a strong negative public debate.
Naylor’s latest obstacle: FDA approval that could take from two to ten years. Safety precautions for the patient are at the root of the lengthy delay, according to Naylor.
“That time frame is not in my comfortable horizon, so we have a meeting set up for April 2o in Hong Kong to present our case to do this procedure over there,” he explained. “ If they agree to it, the operation could be a few days later. If it falls through that will be a large and bitter pill with all the time, energy and money that have been put into this study. “
Naylor says the April 20th date is especially ironic, a few days after his accident’s date that is never very far from the front of his mind.
Additionally as this was mentioned in a prior thread: Naylor has been in touch with Chester County jump jockey Jake Chalfin, offering support and advice. The amateur rider suffered paralysis from the chest down in a fall at the Blue Ridge Fall Races in Berryville, Va. last September.
Jockey Eibar Coa has begun taking the first steps on the road to what he is hoping will be a complete recovery from injuries suffered in a spill at Gulfstream Park at Feb. 18 that originally left him paralyzed throughout most of his body.
Speaking from his room in the rehabilitation center at Memorial South Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., Coa said Monday that he is able to walk short distances and is undergoing three hours of therapy daily.
“I can’t walk completely on my own – I always have someone behind me in case I lose my balance – but I am able to walk about 10 to 20 steps by myself then I need a little rest and then I can walk maybe 10 more,” said Coa, 40. “I can walk good with assistance. The doctors say they are so proud of the way I’m recovering. They tell me everything is coming way too fast, that they’ve never seen anybody regain movement the way I’m getting it so far.”
Coa fractured the C-4 vertebra in his neck in the spill, which occurred while pulling up following the conclusion of the sixth race on Feb. 18. He also suffered a broken left wrist and broken left shoulder in the accident.
“The doctors said they are going to release me from here in two to three weeks at the max and I’ll be able to continue my therapy from home,” said Coa.
A benefit golf tournament for Coa is to be held on Tuesday at the Woodmont Country Club in Tamarac, Fla. Coa said he is hoping to be able to attend.
“I am going to ask the doctor for permission to go this evening,” said Coa. “The big problem is that the special wheelchair I’m using doesn’t fold, so finding suitable transportation will be the big problem. But if I can get there, I really would love to attend.”
"In all my years of neurosurgery never have I seen a case, an event, this impressive and this miraculous. To have a man who's completely paralyzed from the neck down -- a complete quadriplegic -- and then be able to get up and walk is an extremely rare event," said Dr. Scott Berta, the Memorial neurosurgeon who performed two surgeries to stabilize and repair Coa's injury. "And do to it so quickly on top of it is pretty much unheard of."
Dr. Allan Novick was also impressed with Coa's attitude and work ethic during his on-going rehabilitation.
"He had a positive attitude. We just gave him the tools that it takes to work through this and continue to develop the strength sufficiently, first to move in bed, then to stand and progress ultimately to walking and caring for himself," said Novick, director of Rehabilitation Services, Memorial Healthcare System. "With the combination of having the right attitude and the right tools, he was able to overcome."
Coa, who has ridden 4,080 winners, said he and his doctors couldn't have achieved the miraculous recovery without the support of his family and people in the racing industry.
His goal is to ride again. To appreciate just how amazing it is that he walks out of the hospital you have to recall the injury:
"Eibar had a C-4 fracture dislocation that was extremely severe. It was a severe spinal chord injury. We actually term it a complete spinal chord injury. He was a complete quadriplegic," Berta explained. "His MRI indicated that it was severely traumatized and that he may never walk again."
It is so nice to be able to see true miracles in progress even if the persons disposition may not be everyones cup of tea. I truly pray he is able to continue on with his recovery. It gives hope to all.