Jump jockey Brian Toomey, who was clinically dead for six seconds after suffering head injuries in a fall at Perth Racecourse almost two years ago, wants a second “miracle” after being given the all-clear to resume riding.
The 26-year-old Yorkshireman has continued to defy medical odds after being thrown head-first into the turf when his horse Solway Dandy came to grief at the Tayside track in July 2013.
Toomey, who has been granted his riding licence by the British Horseracing Authority, said: “It has taken a miracle to get this far and I want to achieve another miracle.
“I hope to get back, to be successful and I want to win a big race.
“That is now my dream.
“I don’t think anyone has come back from an injury like the one I suffered I’ve got a titanium plate in my skull and I’ve been told that it will be one of the biggest comebacks in sport.”
Toomey underwent major surgery, including the removal of part of his skull, to reduce the swelling on his brain before beginning his gruelling race back to health and the most improbable of comebacks.
Others with comparable injuries, like the Formula One legend Michael Schumacher, have been less fortunate.
However, the National Hunt jockey, who has been riding out each morning at the Middleham stables of trainer Phil Kirby, says he will only resume race-riding once he is satisfied with his own fitness.
“I want to be 100% fit before I get back and I’m only 70% there,” he added.
“I know there will be a lot of attention when I do come back so it is important that I do myself justice.
“I’ve had a good few falls while riding out, and hunting, and it hasn’t put me off.
“I’m not cocky or confident, I just want to make the most of this second chance that I have been given.
“I know there will be people who will say I’m mad to want to come back, but it’s been my dream since I was a boy to be a jockey and it’s a job and life I love.
“i was absolutely determined that, if I couldn’t make it back, it wouldn’t be through a lack of effort on my part.
“I hope what I’ve been through can serve as an inspiration for others who injure themselves and are told that they might never return to doing what they love.
“Work hard and never give up and you just never know what could happen.”