A couple of weeks earlier, F1 legend Niki Lauda fell ill with the flu while on holiday in Ibiza. Now, it seems that his condition has worsened into severe pneumonia.
The former F1 champion was flown to his native Vienna for treatment. He also underwent a lung transplant from a donor from Germany.
Following the surgery, Lauda was placed in an induced coma. Fortunately, it came to an end on Saturday, and he is now gradually recovering.
According to some sources, Lauda would not have lived longer than a week without a suitable donor. The 69-year-old will now undergo weeks of therapy and will need to take up to 50 pills a day.
Walter Klepetko, a doctor at Vienna General Hospital, praised the mental fortitude of his patient for aiding with the recovery process.
“Important is the mental attitude of the patient, he must really be a fighter, really want,” he said.
“It will not be so easy to find a bigger fighter than Niki Lauda. A patient must have the mental drive to get well If you operate on a depressive patient, you will not enjoy it; the will to survive must be there.
“He will remain a patient for life but the life that the patient can lead after that can be excellent. In any case, we are in no hurry and the most important thing is that in the end he leaves the clinic in good condition.”
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sent well-wishes to the Austrian on social media, praying for a speedy recovery. Even Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff wished him the same, and said that the Austrian is in no hurry to resume work with the German marquee.
He admitted that they missed having him with them at Germany and Hungary. But the team is confident that Niki Lauda will pull through and soon join them.