Zanardi leaves hospital 18 months after handbike accident

IndyCar champion and Paralympic hero Alex Zanardi has finally left hospital 18 months on from the handbike accident that left him with serious head and facial injuries.

Zanardi leaves hospital 18 months after handbike accident
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The 55-year-old Italian legend had been hospitalised after he collided with a truck during the Obiettivo Tricolore handbike relay event in June 2020, with his injuries requiring multiple operations and a prolonged rehabilitation programme.

In an interview with BMW, his wife Daniela provided the first update on her husband's condition since July, saying that Zanardi had left hospital "a few weeks ago" to continue his recovery at home.

“The recovery continues to be a long process," she said. "The rehabilitation programme led by doctors, physiotherapists, neuropsychologists and speech therapists has enabled steady progress.

"Of course, setbacks are there and can still occur. Sometimes you also have to make two steps back in order to make one step forward. But Alex proves again and again that he is a real fighter.

"An important step was that Alex was able to leave hospital a few weeks ago and is back at home with us now. We had to wait very long for this and are very happy that it was possible now, even if there are still temporary stays in special clinics planned for the future to carry out special rehabilitation measures on site.”

Zanardi has made "a lot of progress" in terms of his condition and in particular his arm strength, Daniela said, which has enabled him to spend most of his time in his wheelchair rather than in bed.

On her expectations for her husband's future recovery, she added: “You still can’t predict how his recovery will further develop. It is still a long and challenging way that Alex tackles with a lot of fighting spirit.

"It is a big help for him and us that we receive so much support on this way, not only from the doctors and therapists that intensively work with him. Our friends are always there for us. This includes the BMW Group family which we can always count on and that is firmly at our side also in this difficult time.

"We are very grateful to everyone for that and for so much more because these strong ties give us additional energy. This also goes for the continued sympathy we receive from racing drivers, fans and acquaintances from all over the world.

"We would like to express a big 'Grazie' to all who send their good thoughts and power to Alex."

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