Alex Zanardi’s wife has offered an update on the condition of the former IndyCar, Formula 1 driver and Paralympic hero, who suffered serious injuries in a handbike crash last year.
The Italian is continuing to undergo treatment for the serious head and facial injuries he suffered after colliding with a truck last June.
Daniela Zanardi, in an interview for BMW, said that her husband was undergoing a rehabilitation programme which included multimodal and pharmacological stimulations.
“I would like to tell all those people who are thinking of and praying for Alex that he is fighting – as he always has done,” she revealed.
“The affection we have received from friends, fans, acquaintances, athletes and those involved in motorsport over the past year has been nothing short of touching and overwhelming and has been of enormous support for us in dealing with all this.
"However, a very special thank you goes to the medical personnel.”
Daniela explained that the situation for her husband remained challenging, and that there had been setbacks along the way, with Zanardi having still not spoken since the accident.
“It has been a very complex process that has required more neurosurgery and been characterised by a number of setbacks,” she added.
“Alex is in a stable condition, which means he is able to undergo training programmes for both his brain and his body.
"He can communicate with us, but he is still unable to speak.
“After a long time in a coma, the vocal cords must regain their elasticity. This is only possible through practice and therapy.
"He still has a lot of strength in his arms and hands, and is training intensively on the equipment.”
Despite the lengthy recovery period, Daniela said that she could not be sure how long it would be before her husband could return home.
“It is certainly another huge challenge,” she said. “It is a very long journey and at the moment no predictions are made on when he will be able to return home.
“We put all our energy in Alex’s recovery. Therefore we decided to use this interview as a unique opportunity to inform the public on his recovery status and answer some frequently asked questions.
"We appreciate everyone’s understanding that we will leave it at that for the moment.”