Internationally acclaimed jockey Darren Beadman will return to Australia to continue his rehabilitation after slow progress in recovering from a career threatening fall in Hong Kong in February.
Beadman was speared into the turf in a barrier trial mishap at Sha Tinracecourse and after initially being diagnosed with a fractured right cheekbone, it was discovered that he had brain trauma which was affecting his speech and balance.
Since the fall, Beadman has been making very slow progress in recovering and at one stage developed a stutter which he now has under control.
The latest MRI scan has cleared him to fly, although physically he doesn’t feel much improvement, and plans are being made to return to Sydney to continue his rehabilitation under the care of noted sports doctor Nathan Gibbs.
“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.”
Even though the MRI report is positive, Beadman said he is still suffering from headaches and experiencing balance problems.
“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 said.
“It’s very frustrating, but that’s where I’m at.”
When Beadman lands back in Sydney, his priority will be to get his health right and get back to top physical fitness and then he will be able to concentrate on getting his riding career back on track if that is possible.
“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.”
Beadman has a magnificent international record with over eighty Group 1 wins including two Golden Slippers on Inspired and Guineas and two Melbourne Cups for Cups King Bart Cummings on Kingston Rule and Saintly as well as several Group 1 wins in Hong Kong.