Camperdown jockey waits on spinal surgery outcome

Louise Cooper: in good spirits despite injuries and back surgery.
Louise Cooper: in good spirits despite injuries and back surgery.

CAMPERDOWN jockey Louise Cooper has undergone surgery on her injured back and remains in a serious condition in hospital after a fall at Edenhope on Saturday.

Cooper is in the Austin Hospital spinal ward after spending approximately four hours in surgery, where surgeons explored the extent of the damage to three of her vertebrae.

Friend Peter Morganti, who has set up a Facebook page titled “Friends of Louise Cooper — We are thinking of you!”, said Cooper was in good spirits but had suffered significant injuries.

“She’s got damage to her T3, T4 and T5 vertebrae, she’s got four broken ribs, a broken arm and a smashed shoulder,” Morganti said.

“As I understand it, the T5 is compromising her spinal cord and the doctors are hoping in time (they can) release the pressure then she will get some feeling in her legs again.

“She’s got no feeling from the hips down. It’s a scary situation. But she’s fully conscious, with no head injuries, and she’s in good spirits.”

He said it could be weeks before they know the full extent and lasting impact of her injuries.

The Facebook group attracted 467 well-wishers yesterday.

“She’s been getting well-wishers from everywhere so we set up the Facebook page to channel support that way,” Morganti said.

“Then Louise can get on the phone or laptop and see all wellwishers.

“There’s been plenty of support, especially from her fellow jockeys because it’s a dangerous occupation, so they tend to rally together.”

Cooper was yesterday listed as being in a serious but stable condition in the Austin Hospital after being flown to Melbourne after Saturday’s fall.