Several hundred of jockey Dean Butler’s friends, family and fans gathered at Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant for a fundraising event put together by Empire Racing Stable, an outfit that uses Butler a lot during the summers in Shakopee and wanted to give something back to the rider that has given so much to their team. The event raised nearly $9,000 for a thankful Butler who will be sidelined – and therefor not earning an income – for nearly half the year.
Butler himself, still rehabbing from his injuries (three cracked vertebrae in his back), was on hand and grateful for all the support.
While being examined for his injuries, an aneurism was discovered at the base of his brain.
“If it wasn’t for the accident,” Butler said, “They never would have found it. It’s hard to be thankful for a spill, but if I didn’t hit the ground it never would have been discovered.”
Butler’s sister had an aneurism in the front part of her brain and was fortunate to survive her experience.
“They said that only like 9% of people with an aneurism in her spot survive,” he said. “Thank God she did. We know it’s hereditary now so the whole family can be checked out.”
Butler will have the aneurism removed through a procedure whereby a coil will be inserted up through the groin and threaded up to his brain where the aneurism will be captured and removed.
If all goes according to plan, Butler will be back at Tampa Bay Downs this winter.