Update on Injured Australian
statement from Cycling Australia and the Australian Sports Commission
Released at 10:30hrs, 21
July (Aus Eastern Standard Time), (02:30hrs Europe, 01:30hrs UK)
is the latest update from Germany in the wake of yesterday's tragic
accident which claimed the life of Victorian cyclist, Amy Gillett, 29, and
put five of her team mates in hospital. All the riders are now in the same
hospital after Lorian Graham was transferred overnight. Lorian, Kate
Nichols and Katie Brown are in the same room at the hospital.
Australian Institute of Sport Director, Professor Peter Fricker, held a
media conference at the hospital overnight and below is the updated
medical information for each of the cyclists.
The parents of the cyclists have agreed to the release of factual
information on their daughters' injuries but the parents of Alexis and
Louise in particular, have asked the media to please refrain from
speculating as some reports have been based on inaccurate information and
rumours and have caused distress to friends and family members.
"They want everyone to know they are optimistic about their
daughters' recovery and extremely satisfied with the treatment they are
receiving," said Prof. Fricker. "The Uni Klinik in Jena is a new
facility and there is no rush to move them out of the facility because
they are receiving the best possible care."
"Louise and Alexis are the most critically injured but both are very
fit and strong and we have reason to be optimistic about their
recovery," Prof. Fricker said.
Cycling Australia National Performance Director, Shayne Bannan, says the
arrival of families and friends in Jena has lifted everyone's spirits.
"Last night Australian cyclists, Sara Carrigan, Olivia Gollan, Oenone
Wood and Kate and Natalie Bates along with family and friends crowded into
Kate, Katie and Lorian's hospital room for a visit," said Bannan.
"It was a really positive experience for everyone and it was obvious
to everyone the amazing women in the cycling program love each other very
much and will do whatever they need to do to support each other through
Carrigan, Gollan, Wood and the Bates sisters came to the hospital the
second stage of the Tour of Thuringen race. The first stage was cancelled
due to the tragic accident and the organisers of the race instead held a
memorial service for Amy Gillett. The women on the professional racing
circuit are a very close knit community and all have been traumatised by
the accident. The 60 competitors chose not to race during the second stage
but rode from Zeulenroda to Greiz under neutral conditions with the seven
remaining Australians in the race crossing the line a little way ahead of
the rest of the field as a mark of respect for Amy and support for the
Medical Status Update
21, (NSW) - Remains in a satisfactory condition after surgery on both her
left knee and right leg. She also has fractures of three bones in her left
wrist and her left ring finger is broken. Doctors expect her to be
released from hospital in two or three weeks. Her parents Rodney and
Lorraine Brown, brother Graeme Brown and his wife Hayley along with
Katie's boyfriend Mark Renshaw are also in Jena.
Lorian Graham, 27, (QLD) - Remains in a satisfactory condition
after surgery. She has a fracture of her right collar bone and the patella
in her left knee. Doctors have fixed tension wire to her knee to support
it. Her left arm has some abrasions but we are not aware of any fractures
of her left arm or collar bone. Mother Lorian Graham and sister Desley
will arrive in Germany this afternoon (AEST).
Kate Nichols, 20, (NSW) - Remains in a satisfactory condition after
surgery to repair tendon damage in her right hand and fingers. Doctors
have splinted her hand and fingers to minimise scar tissue and to assist
in the return of full mobility in her hand. She has a small piece of glass
in her eye which doctors will remove if necessary. Multiple abrasions and
doctors removed a lot of glass from her wounds but she is already
undergoing physiotherapy and expected to be released from hospital in a
week or so. Parents Kevin and Sylvia are in Jena.
Alexis Rhodes, 20, (SA) - Remains in a critical but stable
condition in intensive care. She has suffered serious chest trauma and
spinal injuries and will require further surgery. She has fractures of
parts of her thoracic spine and seven broken bones in her back. There is
no evidence at this stage that her spinal cord has been damaged. There are
bone fragments near her spinal cord and doctors will operate to remove
those in due course. Doctors are keeping Alexis unconscious, on an
automatic ventilator and will not wake her until they believe it is
medically safe to do so. She also has extensive tissue damage. Parents
Jenni and Greg Rhodes are in Jena. She is expected to remain in hospital
for 4 - 6 weeks.
Louise Yaxley, 23, (TAS) - Remains in a critical but stable
condition in intensive care. Louise underwent further surgery overnight to
stabilise her condition. She has a small blood clot in her brain which is
not causing any major problem at this stage and is being monitored by
doctors. She has also suffered chest trauma and a puncture wound to her
abdomen. She has a broken arm and severe damage to both arms and legs
(grazing and abrasions which have stripped the skin from her limbs) that
will require plastic surgery. Louise has not regained consciousness since
the accident and is also on an automatic ventilator. Doctors will not wake
her until it is medically safe to do so. Parents Annette and Brian Yaxley
arrived early this morning and have visited the hospital and spoken with
her doctors. Partner Mark Padget is also in Jena. She is expected to
remain in hospital for 4 - 6 weeks.
Cycling Australia has established an email link for people who wish to
send condolence messages to the family of Amy Gillett or to pass on their
thoughts and wishes to those injured. Go to www.cycling.org.au
and follow the link on the home page. Message can also be sent via the
Australian Sports Commission website www.ausport.gov.au
services to aid Australian cyclists
Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), and its network of psychologists and
counsellors across Australia and overseas, has put in place a detailed
action plan to deal with the aftermath of the tragic cycling accident in
Germany earlier this week.
Head of the AIS Performance Psychology Department, Dr Michael Martin, gave
details of the action plan at a news conference at the AIS in Canberra
Dr Martin also asked that the media in Australia and in Germany respect
the privacy of the two AIS staff in Germany to allow them to carry out
their work in difficult conditions. AIS and other specialist support
· Two AIS psychologists are currently in Germany, Rosanna Stanimirovic
who works with the cycling team, and Ruth Anderson who is the AIS
Residential Athlete Counsellor.
· A network of psychologists in state institutions and academies of sport
across Australia are in contact with affected athletes, coaches, support
staff and athlete families.
· The Australian Sports Commission has employed specialist trauma and
grief psychologists to support institute and academy psychologists to take
care of those affected by the tragedy.
· The Australian Sports Commission has also employed a European-based
company to provide additional trauma and grief counselling to
European-based athletes, coaches, program staff and family.
· The National Athlete Career and Education programme has an athlete
counselling support service available for additional specialist support.
Dr Martin said a wide range of resources for coping with trauma, grief and
loss have been made available to athletes, relevant coaches and staff
across Australia. 'This is the most serious trauma incident involving
Australian athletes overseas in recent memory,' Dr Martin said.
'It is important to realise that while the impact on the athletes
themselves is the most severe, the flow on effects to family, friends,
colleagues and support staff is also significant and needs to be managed
in the short and longer term.
'Those close to the athletes who believe they might need psychological
and/or counselling support shouldn't hesitate to contact the psychology
department at the AIS or any of the state and territory-based sports
institutes and academies.'
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