An update from his wife Rosie said that Harry “is still suffering from significant concussion symptoms which are not settling – namely dizziness with the room spinning vertically around him, causing continuous nausea and blurred vision, setting him off balance despite being bed-bound”.
Treating the break to Harry’s right arm has been complicated by the rider’s pre-existing injuries dating back to his serious fall in 2013.
Rosie explained: “A deep open-wound from a stud had sliced into the elbow joint, breaking the bone well apart and carrying a significant amount of dirt inside the open joint. The object of the surgery was to cut out the damaged and dirty tissue, and to then pin the break.
“When the surgeons assessed the X-rays prior to operating, they were unsurprisingly confused given that it’s the same elbow that didn’t heal after his 2013 fall, despite multiple surgeries over several years. Thankfully they left the historical injuries alone – on X-ray these still look a mess of rubble-bone and fallen-apart metalwork but the arm functions well. Disrupting this would require an elusive contingency plan that wouldn’t bode well from a functional point of view.
“The important thing now is that the joint doesn’t get infected – any contamination in the new wound could infect the old broken metalwork in the original fracture, meaning it would all need removing, destabilising what has until now been miraculously reliable, a complication we could do without.”
Rosie added that Harry has been “desperately concerned” about the horse he was riding at the time of the fall, Peter Harris’s Merrywell Tradition, who underwent surgery to his shoulder at the same time as Harry’s operation.
“While the operation itself was not complicated, there had been a risk that the shoulder may dislocate when he got up from surgery,” she explained.
“Thankfully he got up sensibly and carefully, so he is now over the largest hurdle. Merrylegs is a lovely gentle giant of a horse, and it’s such a relief for our whole team that he is walking around looking none the worse. Harry adores the horse and had been worrying non-stop, so that news was an enormous relief and boost to his state of mind.”
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Rosie also said that having been through the aftermath of Harry’s 2013 fall – when both his elbows were smashed – the couple are confident he can cope with this situation.
“The great thing is he’s not unfamiliar with with pain or incapacitation, and with one arm functioning life is infinitely easier than 2013,” she said. “However, it’s the head trauma that will take as much time. He’s being very sensible, has made a plan for each horse, we’ve communicated with each owner and he’s now resting, with no ambitions to start the climb back to normality too soon. At least we know that he can cope well with the mental challenges of setbacks.”
Rosie said the couple are grateful for the messages of support they have received: “Due to the concussion I have his phone with me, but have passed on all the messages and he’s really touched by everyone’s kindness. Thank you all.”
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