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McNamara suffers paralysis from Cheltenham fall

(Reuters) - Amateur Irish jockey JT McNamara has suffered paralysis as a result of his fall at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this month.

"JT McNamara remains in the Frenchay Hospital, Bristol. Whilst he suffered a serious neck injury resulting in paralysis, he has made progress in the last week and is in a very positive frame of mind," said a statement issued jointly by Dr Adrian McGoldrick, senior medical officer for the Irish Turf Club, and Lisa Hancock, CEO of the Injured Jockey's Fund, on Friday.

"He is greatly appreciative of the many messages, cards and letters received and also wishes to thank the Frenchay Hospital who are looking after him so well."

McNamara fractured two vertebrae when his mount, Galaxy Rock, fell at the first fence in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup on March 14.

A previous statement earlier this week said the 37-year-old, who has had neck surgery, was fully alert but needed full-time ventilation at present.

(Writing By Alison Wildey in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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