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Michael Martinez Shows Improvement

Injured jockey Michael Martinez was transferred from Highland Hospital in Oakland to the UCSF Medical Center spine unit Monday and underwent a high-resolution MRI exam that will determine if he is a candidate for experimental embryonic stem cell treatments that could repair his severed spinal cord.


Martinez, a 24-year-old who is paralyzed from the waist down, also sustained a head injury, six broken ribs and bleeding in both lungs as the result of a spill Sept. 12 at Golden Gate Fields. He has shown marked improvement in those areas over the past few days.


"He's alert, conversational and eating solid food, and there are no more tubes in him," Golden Gate Fields physician Dr. David Seftel said. "He's physically much more comfortable than he has been."




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