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The wife of former F1 driver Alex Zanardi has given a rare update on her husband’s condition, a year on from him suffering severe injuries in a road accident in Tuscany.
Daniela Zanardi says the four-time Paralympic gold medallist is “still unable to speak” but described his condition as “stable,” adding that he still remains in a special clinic, undergoing rehabilitation and therapy.
The para-cyclist was left fighting for his life after he lost control of his handbike during a road race in Italy and subsequently hit an oncoming truck in June 2020.
The 54-year-old is said to be currently undergoing therapy as his “vocal cords must regain their elasticity” after spending so much time in an induced coma.
“One year after the accident, Alex’s condition is essentially stable,” she said, via BMW Motorsport, “He is currently in a special clinic, where he is undergoing a rehabilitation programme. This includes multimodal and pharmacological stimulations under the guidance of doctors, physiotherapists, neuropsychologists, and speech therapists to try to facilitate his recovery.”
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“It has been a very complex process that has required more neurosurgery and been characterised by a number of setbacks. Alex is in a stable condition, which means he is able to undergo training programmes for both his brain and his body.
“He can communicate with us, but he is still unable to speak. After a long time in a coma, the vocal cords must regain their elasticity. This is only possible through practice and therapy. He still has a lot of strength in his arms and hands, and is training intensively on the equipment.”
Zanardi, who has raced in many motorsport categories, had both his legs amputated after an accident in 2001 CART race at the Lausitzring track in Germany.
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During his time in F1 he raced for Lotus, Minardi, Jordan, and Williams and won and won two Indycar titles before his 2001 accident.
He then went on to win the World Touring Car Championship with a specially controlled car as well as tallying up four Paralympic gold medals in hand cycling.
And Daniela Zanardi added there’s still a long way to go in her husband’s recovery, but thanked the motorsport world for their support.
She added: “It is certainly another huge challenge. It is a very long journey and at the moment no predictions are made on when he will be able to return home. We put all our energy in Alex’s recovery.”
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