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AIS women - Yaxley improving, Rhodes still unconscious

By:
Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
Published:
July 24, 2005, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:42 BST
Edition:
Latest Cycling News for July 24, 2005
Louise Yaxley waits for the start of the TT stage at the Tour de l'Aude

Louise Yaxley waits for the start of the TT stage at the Tour de l'Aude

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Cycling Australia has issued an update about the improving conditions of the five riders injured in...

Cycling Australia has issued an update about the improving conditions of the five riders injured in Germany last week in the collision that killed Amy Gillett, 29. Louise Yaxley, 23, had been heavily sedated and on a ventilator but doctors allowed her to regain consciousness in order to carry out a series of cognitive 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 responded 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.

Also improving is South Australian Alexis Rhodes, 20, who along with Yaxley was the most badly hurt of the five. She sustained multiple fractures in the collision, but doctors 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 Bannan. He added that doctors may look at reducing her sedation in a few days and waking her up.

Amy Gillett's funeral will be held next Friday July 29, in Ballarat, Victoria, and will be followed by a memorial service. A second service will be held at Adelaide's Super-Drome on Friday, August 5.

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 Australia.

"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 staying together in a private room. Nichols is expected to be released sometime next week while the other two should be out in two to three weeks time.

Medical Status Update

Two riders remain in intensive care

Louise Yaxley, 23 - 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 care.

Alexis Rhodes, 20 - 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 automatic ventilator.

Three riders in a satisfactory condition and in the same hospital room

Katie Brown, 21 - 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 - Recovering well from her injuries. Expected to be released in 2 to 3 weeks.

Kate Nichols, 20 - Recovering well and expected to be released in a week or so.

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