More than a month after his near-fatal hand-cycling crash, two-time CART champion, paralympic gold medalist, and former Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi’s condition is showing signs of improvement. Though his condition remains serious, it has reportedly stabilized, allowing doctors to transfer the Italian racer to a specialized neurological rehabilitation facility, where his long road to recovery can begin.
Zanardi’s crash took place during a June 19 relay race in Tuscany, Italy, reports CNN. Per Corriere Della Sera, Zanardi was thrown from his hand-cycle into the oncoming lane of the roadway, where he was struck by a slow-moving truck, causing serious head injuries. Intubated by helicopter-borne first responders, Zanardi was airlifted to a nearby hospital for three hours of emergency surgery, after which he was placed in a medically induced coma. Doctors are reportedly cautiously optimistic about Zanardi’s condition, and according to Valtere Giovannini, the general manager of the hospital where the racer received care, health professionals will do their best to expedite the healing process.
“Our professionals remain at the disposal of this extraordinary person and his family for the further stages of clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic development, as always happens in these cases,” commented Giovannini in a hospital press release circulated by Motorsport. “I sincerely thank the multidisciplinary team that took care of Zanardi, putting in place a great professionalism, recognized nationally and beyond.”
“The athlete spent over a month in our hospital. He underwent three delicate surgical operations and showed a path of stability of his clinical conditions and vital parameters that allowed the reduction and suspension of sedation, and the consequent possibility to be transferred to a facility for the necessary neuro-rehabilitation.”
We can only hope that Zanardi’s recovery is a smooth one, considering what he’s already been through since his nightmarish crash in 2001 at EuroSpeedway in Germany. We will continue to bring you updates as things develop.
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