Update on Injured Australian
Improvement in Loiuse Yaxley's
Condition is Positive News
statement from Cycling Australia and the Australian Sports Commission
Released at 22:30hrs, 23
July (Aus Eastern Standard Time), (14:30hrs Europe, 13:30hrs UK)
friends of Tasmanian cyclist Louise Yaxley, 23, have been buoyed by news
today that she has recognised her parents and satisfied a series of
cognitive tests conducted by doctors at the University Clinic in Jena,
Louise had been heavily sedated and her breathing assisted by a ventilator
but doctors today reduced the medication to bring her back to
consciousness so they could carry out the tests.
"They asked her to poke her tongue out and she poked her tongue
out," said Cycling Australia National Performance Director, Shayne
Bannan. "There are still some issues but generally she repsonded well
to the tests.
"Then they brought in her parents (Annette and Brian) and boyfriend
(Mark Padgett) and even though she was fairly drowsy because of the
medication it was clear she recognised them," he said.
Doctors are also happy with the progress of South Australian Alexis
Rhodes, 20, and have decided against operating on her to repair broken
bones in her back.
"She's making a lot of progress and the doctors are quite confident
the bones around the spinal cord will heal themselves," said Mr
Bannan adding that doctors may look at reducing her sedation in a few days
and waking her up.
However for now both Alexis and Louise remain in intensive care. Today's
medical update was welcome news for the family, friends and cycling
community gathered in Jena to support the six cyclists injured in a freak
accident last Tuesday (0140 AEST - Monday local time) which claimed the
life of 2002 Australian Individual Pursuit Champion and former Olympic
rower, 29 year old Victorian, Amy Gillett.
Amy died instantly when a teenage female driver lost control of her
vehicle, crossed to the other side of the road and ploughed into the six
member Australian women's team who were training for the a Tour due to
start the next day. Her funeral followed by a memorial service will be
held next Friday July 29th in Ballarat. A second memorial service will be
held at Adelaide's Super-Drome on Friday August 5th.
Her husband Simon Gillett has been in Germany for the past 48 hours and is
about to embark on an emotional journey to bring his wife home to
"Simon has visited the injured girls and spent time with all of us
talking through a lot of things," said Bannan. "If there is
anything positive to take from this tragedy it is the display of the
strength of the human spirit.
"Simon, the parents of the injured cyclists and the cyclists
themselves have shown such faith and such courage this week and that is
something I will always remember."
Katie Brown, 21, Lorian Graham, 27, and Kate Nichols, 20, are all
recovering well and are staying together in a private room with Nichols
expected to be released sometime next week and the other two in two to
three weeks time.
Medical Status Update
Two riders remain in intensive care
Louise Yaxley, 23, (TAS) - Doctors today reduced the
sedation and brought her back to consciousness to perform some cognitive
testing. She responded well to the testing and, despite her drowsy
condition, recognised her parents and boyfriend. She remains in intensive
Alexis Rhodes, 20, (SA) - Doctors have decided against operating to
repair broken bones near her spinal cord as they are confident the bones
will heal without intervention. She is progressing well and doctors may
try to bring her back to consciousness in a few days time.
She remains in intensive care, heavily sedated and aided by an autmotic
Three riders in a satisfactory condition and in the same hospital
Katie Brown, 21, (NSW) - Remains in a satisfactory condition and
has been moving around the hospital in a wheelchair. Expected to be
released in 2 to 3 weeks.
Lorian Graham, 27, (QLD) - Recovering well from her injuries.
Expected to be released in 2 to 3 weeks.
Kate Nichols, 20, (NSW) - Recovering well and expected to be
released in a week or so.
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
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