Injured jockey Brian Toomey feels ‘95% normal’ ahead of skull rebuild

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  • Injured jockey Brian Toomey’s rehabilitation programme is well underway, as he told H&H he feels “95% normal”.

    He is currently undergoing occupational therapy at Oaksey House, before undergoing an operation later this month to put a plate in his skull.

    The 24-year-old conditional jockey suffered serious head injuries in a fall at Perth racecourse in July, after which he was placed in an induced coma for more than two weeks and underwent surgery to reduce swelling on his brain.

    His occupational therapy programme involves light gym work.

    “My head is still very fragile because I’m missing half my skull,” Mr Toomey told H&H. “The doctors don’t want me falling over or having raised blood pressure.”

    “I feel great, but I’m fed up of hospitals,” he added. “I’m young and don’t have much patience. I like to do stuff.”

    This has involved visiting some of the Lambourn yards, meeting event rider Laura Collett — who was a patient at Oaksey House after her own life-threatening fall this year — and dining out with AP McCoy and John Francome. He is hopeful of returning to race-riding eventually.

    “I want to go back to my job, but it’s a long road ahead,” he said. “I already feel 95% normal, and my doctor says the plate will help with the recovery. But it will be six months to a year before I can even start riding.”

    Mr Toomey will stay at Oaksey House until next week, while the doctors assess what sort of occupational therapy is most appropriate. He will then continue rehab in the north of the country — before his operation at James Cook Hospital, Middlesborough — to spend more time with his girlfriend Amy Ryan.

    Picture by Oliver Sherwood

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