Rockhampton horse trainer John Poots returns to Rocky.

Published 5 October 2023

Rockhampton horse trainer John Poots returns to Rocky.

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In what is being described as a miraculous recovery, Rockhampton horse trainer John Poots who suffered serious brain injuries in a horse related accident at his Port Curtis property on July 12, was transferred from a Brisbane Hospital and flown to Rockhampton rehabilitation unit this morning (Thursday). 

John was airlifted to the Royal Brisbane’s Women’s Hospital within 24 hours of sustaining his serious head injuries and undergoing initial assessment at Rockhampton’s Base Hospital.

In Brisbane he underwent multiple brain surgery and was bed ridden at the RBWH and fed intravenously in ICU for over six weeks.

Then on September 1 he was transferred to the Surgical Treatment and Rehabilitation Services complex (STARS) adjoining the Brisbane hospital from where he has undergone intensive and extensive rehabilitation therapy.

That therapy included having John taught to eat normally and very gradually get out of bed and be able to take steps and eventually walk with assistance.

John’s wife Louise “his rock” has constantly remained with him during his hospitalisation and rehabilitation in Brisbane.

“They have done remarkable work with John in Brisbane so much so that he can now walk with the assistance of a wheelie walker. He has really come along brilliantly and the improvement in him is difficult to comprehend. Sending him home to Rockhampton is huge step forward”, Louise Poots said.

She said the Brisbane specialist team who have been working with John’s rehabilitation said the treatment and therapy they had provided over the last five weeks could now be continued in Rockhampton.

“They told John and I that he would probably remain in the Rockhampton Base Hospital’s rehabilitation unit for a week to 10 days before being likely to be discharged home. It is a far better outcome than we ever imagined”, Louise Poots said.

John Poots has also undergone speech therapy so that he can talk again, which is now the case. 

“John’s memory has also come back but he has no recollection of the accident whatsoever”, Louise Poots said.

She found John in a paddock seriously injured on the ground while the horse he had been riding had relocated a considerable distance away.

Consequently, as there were no witnesses to the accident it is unlikely to ever be known exactly what took place resulting in his life-threatening injuries at the time.

Central Queensland racing stakeholders, the Australian Trainers Association and CRISP (Combined Racing Industry Support Program) launched an appeal almost two months ago which raised approximately $25K to assist John and Louise.

“John and I will be forever grateful for the manner in which the racing industry stakeholders and some race clubs rallied and donated to this appeal”, Louise Poots said. 

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