Former Formula 1 driver and Paralympic champion Alex Zanardi has been transferred from hospital to a specialist neurorehabilitation center after suffering a horrific cycling accident in June.
Zanardi, 53, who had both legs amputated after a motorcycle accident almost 20 years ago, had lost control of his handbike while competing in a relay race in Tuscany, Italy.
Zanardi was later flown to the Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital in Siena, where he underwent three hours of emergency neurological surgery and was placed in an induced coma.
The hospital released a statement on Tuesday confirming that Zanardi had been transferred after his sedation wore off.
“The stability of the general clinical conditions and the neurological picture allowed the transfer … to a specialized center for recovery and functional rehabilitation,” it reads.
“Alex Zanardi was transferred today [Tuesday] to another facility.”
“Today begins a new path for Alex Zanardi,” added hospital CEO Valtere Giovannini.
The Italian is an incredibly popular figure. He had been training for this year’s Tokyo Paralympics, hoping to add to his impressive gold medal haul.
Among the many messages of support, Pope Francis wrote her a letter as she continued her recovery in hospital. He praised Zanardi for living life to the fullest and for providing a “lesson in humanity”.