Zanardi still in induced coma after third neurological surgery

Ruben Hill
July 9, 2020

Alex Zanardi underwent five-hour facial reconstruction surgery on Monday as part of ongoing treatment for serious injuries sustained in a hand cycling accident last month.

The former F1 and CART racer collided with a vehicle while participating in a handbike race in Italy on June 19 and underwent emergency neurological surgery upon his arrival to the Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital in Siena. It was the third major surgery that Zanardi has had since he crashed his handbike into an oncoming truck near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19 during a relay event. "The fractures were complex", said Professor Paolo Gennaro, director of the Siena university hospital's maxillofacial surgery unit, in a statement.

The hospital confirmed the 53-year-old Italian spent five hours in surgery "aimed at cranio-facial reconstruction and stabilisation of the areas affected by the trauma".

Zanardi's condition remains otherwise unchanged, as he remains in a coma in the intensive care unit, where his neurological condition is severe.

The statement added that the next update on Zanardi would be "issued as soon as there are significant changes in the athlete's clinical picture".

The 53-year-old Zanardi, who lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash almost 20 years ago, has been on a ventilator since the crash.

He raced in the US-based Champ Car series - a form of Indycar - from 1996-98, winning the title in 1997 and '98.

Following his accident, Zanardi was fitted with two prosthetic limbs and after competing at the World Touring Car Championship turned to Para-cycling.

He later became a handcyclist and won a combined six medals (four gold, two silver) at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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