Last month, former CART champion and F1 driver Alessandro ‘Alex’ Zanardi had a terrifying crash in a Handbike event. This was enough to land him in hospital and in a coma.
Now, the veteran Italian is on the mend at a rehabilitation clinic in Milan, but he has since been transferred to Intensive Care.
Worryingly, Zanardi’s son Niccolo admitted his fears of his father losing his eyesight and his ability to communicate. He confessed that the rehabilitation process could take a long time.
As it turns out, the veteran racer suffered serious facial and head injuries when a lorry struck his handbike at a demonstration event.
Chronologically, the 53-year old, raced in F1 from 1991 to 1994, before switching to the CART IndyCar series from 1996 to 98. In 1999, he was back in Formula One, before going back to IndyCar in 2001.
While not particularly successful in F1, Zanardi won the 1997 and 1998 IndyCar championships with Chip Ganassi Racing. Sadly, he lost both of his legs in a terrifying Indy car crash in Germany in 2001.
Recently, the rehab clinic’s priest, Father Luca Poli, spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport about the Paralympic champion. He said, “Alex Zanardi is only sometimes conscious, and he gets tired quickly. Sometimes he’s awake, sometimes not.
“After the transfer from Siena to here, he was very tired and I could only see him briefly. I also couldn’t take his hand because we have to keep our distance from the patients in these times.
“Worryingly, Valduce Hospital health director Claudio Zanado revealed that senior medical made a joint decision. When they consulted with head of the Department of Specialist Rehabilitation Villa Beretta, Dr. Franco Molteni, they elected to transfer him.”
Zanado wrote in a letter, “Adequate means and adequate assistance were used at the Intensive Care Department of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. As of now, it is specified that no further information on the case will be released.”