Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza suffered a fracture to his C-3 vertebrae in late July at Del Mar, when Bobby Abu Dhabi suffered what was apparently a fatal heart attack during a morning workout. Espinoza spoke to the Los Angeles Times about his recovery; currently, the 46-year-old jockey requires a 24-hour caregiver to aid him with simple tasks like bathing and dressing himself.
“Your body has to reset itself, to learn how to do everything all over again,'' says Espinoza. “It's the toughest thing I've ever done in my life.”
Immediately after the accident, Espinoza thought he was paralyzed completely. He remembers the paramedics having to wipe the dirt off his face, and worrying once he saw the look in their eyes. Gradually, feeling returned to his legs and to his right arm, but his left arm is still mostly numb.
“We forget these jockeys are laying their lives on the line for us every day,'' said fellow Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, with whom Espinoza won the 2015 Triple Crown aboard American Pharoah. “There is nothing worse when you see something happen to them. All the fun and excitement ends. It changes the way you look at everything.''
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.
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