08/20/2009 11:00PM

Douglas back in hospital as rehab continues


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Rene Douglas was moved from a rehabilitation facility to a regular room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago on Tuesday night because of a urinary tract infection, and recurring battles with infection have plagued Douglas's efforts to rehabilitate a spinal-cord injury sustained May 23 in the Arlington Matron.

"They're running a bunch of tests right now, but they're not sure what's going on yet," said Doreen Razo, the wife of Arlington rider Eddie Razo, and a Douglas family friend who has served as an occasional spokesperson since Douglas's tragic spill here.

"He's not feeling strong, but he's responding to treatment so far, and that's the main thing," Razo said.

Going down in the Matron, Douglas, six times the leading rider at Arlington, suffered compressed vertebrae in his lower back, which caused lower-body paralysis. He underwent extensive surgery the night of his accident, and hope was expressed that paralysis might be temporary. But after several weeks of rehabilitation, Douglas has struggled to make consistent progress, said Razo.

"It's been an uphill climb," she said.

When his present condition improves, and Douglas is ready to leave Northwestern, he plans on returning home to south Florida, according to Razo.

"He's just kind of tired of everything, and he wants to go home," Razo said. "He thinks that's where he can heal the best."