'I've had no visitors' - Phil Dennis still stuck in hospital 200 miles from home
Complications with a deflated lung have delayed jockey Phil Dennis's release from Ayr Hospital following an incident at the local racetrack last Tuesday.
Dennis was taken to the University Hospital Ayr after a nasty unseat from The Mackem Torpedo which resulted in four broken ribs, a deflated lung and a fractured ankle.
The 24-year-old, who lives over 200 miles away in Malton, is facing several months on the sidelines but his short-term goal is just to get home.
"I'm still up in Ayr," he said from his hospital bed on Saturday. "I've four broken ribs that punctured the lung and it collapsed at one side. That's been the main problem. Originally they thought I'd fractured my ankle but it turns out that's only a small one, that'll heal itself so that's not too bad.
"My chest was drained on the second day to get the air out. After two days it looked like it had done what it needed to do so they took that out and I hoped I'd be away home, but it looks like it's slowly collapsing again.
"I keep getting x-rays three or four times a day to monitor it to see if that needs to go back in, or whether it'll heal up itself and I can go home."
Dennis has leaned on the racing and Euro 2020 competition, which started on Friday night, to pass the time and added: "It's been a real pain being so far away. With the Covid restrictions it's hard enough as it is but I'm four hours away from family and friends so I've had no visitors.
"Hopefully I'll soon be home, that's all I'm focused on right now. The guys that did my chest thought it'd be three months before I was back on a horse, I was thinking it'd be a couple anyway, but I'll take that as it comes.
"I just keep thinking it could have been a lot worse. When the time's right I'll get back riding out again and hopefully get back racing."
Dennis's mount stumbled badly two furlongs into the 7f handicap, with the Katie Scott-trained 66-1 shot unseating him on the bend and the rider has been touched by the support he has received from within the sport.
"Jerry Hill's been on already and Jack Berry House said they'd have me in as soon as I was able, but first I just want to get back down the road," he said.
"I have to say everyone at Ayr racecourse and the hospital have been so good. My parents, girlfriend and all the owners in Ursa Major Racing have all been amazing while I've been up here."
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