Jockey Graham Lee is “recovering well” after undergoing surgery on Tuesday, although the “extent of his long-term recovery remains uncertain”.
Lee, 47, was taken to hospital after being unseated from his mount Ben Macdui as the stalls opened for a race at Newcastle last Friday.
He was placed in intensive care with respiratory support at the Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital in Newcastle and an MRI scan showed that he had suffered an unstable cervical fracture causing damage to the spinal cord, as well as damage to blood vessels in the mid-cervical region.
The Injured Jockeys Fund released an update on Lee’s condition on Wednesday afternoon, revealing he had undergone surgery.
The statement read: “Jockey Graham Lee had surgery yesterday at the Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital in Newcastle to stabilise the fractures in his cervical spine and further protect his spinal cord.
“He also had a tracheostomy performed to allow him to be more comfortable and improve communication.
“Whilst Graham has recovered from the surgery well, the extent of his long-term recovery remains uncertain.
“Graham’s family would like to thank everyone for their best wishes and for their support of the Just Giving Page set up by Graham’s 18-year-old daughter Amy.”
More than £75,000 had been raised by Wednesday morning via the Just Giving Page to help Lee and the Injured Jockeys Fund, after the organisation promised to provide care and support for the rider and his family following his serious injury.
In the IJF statement, Amy Lee added: “I am personally writing down each and every message and donation that comes through and I share all of these with Dad. To be honest, it’s simply overwhelming and we can’t believe that so many people are thinking of us.
“I wish I could explain how much of a difference it will make to Dad’s recovery knowing that he has your support – Thank you from the bottom of my heart.'”