‘I couldn’t breathe or talk but still tipped a big winner’

Trevor Jacobs is co-owner of Champion Chase contender Editeur Du Gite but will be watching Cheltenham from his hospital bed.

When Trevor Jacobs, part-owner of Champion Chase hope Editeur Du Gite, recently won a four-figure sum on a bet his celebration was more muted than it normally would be. He was, after all, hooked up to a ventilator in an intensive care unit.

In July, Jacobs, whose horse is 6-1 for Wednesday’s race at Cheltenham, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome and has been in hospital ever since.

Within 24 hours of his admission, after paralysing his legs and arms the disease had reached his lungs. The 68-year-old was placed on a ventilator and, for a month, in an induced coma, during which his heart stopped twice.

Gambling has had a bad rap lately but his weekly tonic during the ordeal has been ITV racing on a Saturday and a few bets placed through his son, Ryan. Might it not be yours confined to the same room, same bed for nearly nine months?

On the Saturday in question Jacobs collected £7,000 from a £150 trixie (four different bets on three horses). All the alarms on the machines keeping him going began going off.

“The consultant came in and said, ‘I can’t believe what I’m seeing. You can’t move and you can’t breathe or talk and you’ve just won £7,000’,” Jacobs tells Telegraph Sport from his hospital bed in Portsmouth. “Now they all want to know what the tips are. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen every Saturday.”

While the doctors, nurses and machines in the critical care unit have kept Jacobs alive physically, it is Editeur Du Gite, the Gary Moore-trained nine-year-old, that has provided a medicine for the mind.

GBS is something of a mystery condition in the medical world – all doctors are taught about it but the majority will go through a whole career without encountering it.

An auto-immune disease, it is commonly triggered by a stomach bug or a vaccine. The reaction so razzes up the immune system it strips the nerves of their myelin outer coating. The best analogy is if you were to remove the plastic outer casing of an electric wire – do that and it does not conduct electricity efficiently. It is the same with nerves.

Click here to read the rest of the article: ‘I couldn’t breathe or talk but still tipped a big winner’ (telegraph.co.uk)

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