Operation confirms paralysis for Isidre Esteve Pujol2007-03-30 01:50
KTM factory rider Isidre Esteve Pujol of Spain underwent surgery on Friday in Barcelona, Spain to stabilize a spinal injury sustained during a high speed crash last weekend.
The Spanish rider was injured while competing in the Spanish All Terrain Rally.
Specialists Dr. Villanova and Dr. Meir have reported after the operation that the level of injury to the 7th and 8th vertebrae was such that the rider has suffered paralysis from the waist down. They must now wait for inflammation to subside from the spinal column to establish if any further treatment is at all possible. The situation must be considered serious and it is too early to tell if certain experimental treatments for spinal injuries being conducted in the USA and Canada will be able to help the injured rider. Esteve was wearing a neck brake, which is effective against neck injuries and a strong back protector but tragically, because of the nature of the crash, neither protective device was able to prevent this particular type of spinal injury.
KTM's Motor Sports Consultant and former motocross world champion Heinz Kinigadner visited Esteve in hospital shortly after the accident and said that considering the serious situation, the rider was in relatively good spirits. He is able to speak, breathe and eat independently and was able to explain exactly how the accident happened.
"Esteve was riding a 525 racing machine, not a rally bike," Kinigadner said. "He was traveling through a dry river bed at quite high speed when he hit a large rock. He was able to lift the front wheel but then lost control and shot over the handlebars."
"Esteve never lost consciousness," Kinigadner reported. "He thinks that that bike may have fallen on top of him but he is not sure. But he was aware from the moment of impact that the injury was a serious one". Both KTM and sponsor Galoisses are standing by to offer Esteve whatever support is possible, Kinigadner said.
Source: KTM Sportmotorcycles AG
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