Multiple Group One-winning Queensland jockey Damian Browne has been overwhelmed with the support he as received during a health scare which threatens to end his career.
Browne will make no decision on his riding future until after he has exhausted all avenues for a recovery from a perforated bowel which has morphed into major spin-off problems.
He knows he could be forced into retirement but doesn’t want to go without a fight.
“I am only a fifty-fifty chance of riding again. Whether that means I am an even money chance to retire or whether it means I am an even money chance to ride again is on your interpretation,” Browne said.
“But I want to have the full treatment, surgery etcetera and get well again before making an decision. I don’t want to do anything rash.”
Browne said he had been overwhelmed with support and suggestions on how to help with his treatment.
“If I was to take everything that people have suggested I would rattle. I really appreciate it but I have to be sensible,” he said.
Browne has received suggestions ranging from naturopathy to massage.
The winner of 16 Group One races, Browne has ridden with pain for many years after being out of the saddle for an extended period 15 years ago with leg problems.
His current dilemma is a direct spin-off from that.
Browne had emergency surgery for a perforated bowel last month and there have been complications.
Doctors believe Browne’s long-time use of anti-inflammatory drugs on an empty stomach for chronic knee problems caused an ulcer which burst and perforated his bowel.
He developed problems with his kidneys and without the use of anti-inflammatories his legs have swollen.
“Everything involving my bowel and my kidneys has stabilised but now it is my leg causing the problems,” he said.
On the plus side, Browne has been able to spend more time with his wife Kim and two children as he looks at other career options in the racing industry.
Browne had a fruitful association with champion sprinter Buffering including victory in the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai and rode consecutive Blue Diamond Stakes winners Earthquake (2014) and Pride Of Dubai (2015).