By Kirsten Robbins
Doctors at the St. Charles Medical Centre ICU in Bend, Oregon brought Team Type 1's Ben Brooks out of an induced coma and moved him into a recovery unit on Sunday. The 29-year-old Australian was hospitalised in stable condition following a violent crash last Wednesday during the opening stage of the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic.
"He is doing pretty well," said Ed Beamon, Team Type 1 director. "He was stepped down again when they moved into a recovery room yesterday. He was also up and walking around a little bit."
Brooks was induced into a 24-hour coma and held in the ICU for more than ten days. He will be moved into a rehabilitation/therapy program before his Doctors can determine a release date.
"I think they are trying to evaluate what his strengths and weaknesses might be," said Beamon. "It takes time to ascertain what kind of short term or long term injuries he might be affected by." Upon hospital release, Brooks hopes to transfer to a facility close to his San Diego home.
His father and wife, Rachael are currently at his hospital bedside. "So far everyone is happy with the progress and he's already talking about getting back on the bike," said Beamon.
Brooks crashed over a cattle guard crossing more than half way into the 133.5 kilometre Prineville road race on July 9. A rescue squad rushed him to the local hospital after finding him unconscious. Doctors induced him into a coma to assist in a faster recovery. "To minimize further brain trauma they kept into a sedative state," continued Beamon. "The doctors said that the first 16-18 hours are the most critical for recovery of any potential trauma to the brain."