David Mullins 'extremely lucky' to escape life-changing injury in Thurles fall

Mullins guided Rule The World to victory at the 2016 Grand National

Friday, November 08, 2019
David Mullins Helicopter

Mullins fractured his clavicle and thoracic vertebra

Tom Mullins has described his son David as “extremely lucky” after the Grand National-winning rider returned home to recover from the injuries he sustained in a crashing fall at Thurles almost two weeks ago, writes Brian Sheerin. 

The 23-year-old was operated on last Saturday week at Cork University Hospital after fracturing his clavicle and thoracic vertebra (T12) and the injuries were far more serious than first thought, his father revealed on Tuesday.

The dual-purpose trainer said: “It was probably a bit more serious than people were aware of. He mashed up his T12 vertebra and displaced another two vertebrae. The doctor said he had very good, strong bones and but for that he might not have walked again.”

Mullins added: “He had the operation and that's fixed him up. Since the operation, he's having a bit of nerve trouble in his left leg, but hopefully it'll come right in time. 

“He was extremely lucky in the grand scheme of things. It could have been an awful lot worse. We're thankful for what we have after it now.”

The jockey, whose finest hour came when guiding the Mouse Morris-trained Rule The World to victory in the 2016 Grand National, was airlifted to Cork University Hospital after his horror fall.

Tom Mullins said he wasn’t fully aware of how serious the injuries were until he arrived at the hospital and labelled the whole experience as a “rollercoaster.” 

Mullins said: “Everything that was done was great. We were kind of half settled [immediately after the fall] but then the helicopter came and we started to worry again. 

“We had been talking to Danny [Mullins, David's cousin] and he was relaying everything to us and telling us David could move everything after the fall but then we started to worry when we saw the helicopter. It was a bit of a rollercoaster.”

He added: “When we met the surgeon at the hospital, he told us it was very serious, but we think he's over the worst of it now and he's up and about on crutches at home. The dust is settling.”

On how long the rider will be out of action, Mullins said: “I'd say he'll be out for four or five months at a guess. He'll definitely be out until February. 

It could have been an awful lot worse. We're thankful for what we have after it now. 

- Tom Mullins

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