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Stuart O'Grady and David Millar ride together at the 2009 Vuelta a España.
Australian hopes to head home to Monaco soon
David Millar has described witnessing Stuart O'Grady's seizure on Sunday as 'absolutely horrific', and that he sat in hospital with the Australian for almost two days. Millar who rides for Garmin-Slipstream shared his experiences with Cyclingnews, and said that the seizure could have been caused by a brain lesion.
“I was with him when it happened. He got a ride on the Ducati VIP two-seater along with five other lucky people Sunday morning. He went through a full medical beforehand and obviously passed no problem, followed by two hours of briefings and fittings for leathers. The motorbike was ridden by Randy Mamola, a legend in the sport, who has been doing this for a few years now, so although it is probably one of the most scary experiences on the planet it is actually quite safe.
“After doing the ride he came off obviously a bit dazed but very excited,and he complained of having a little blurry vision which I actually thought was quite funny. We went to the Alpinestars hospitality where we sat down and started talking about it. Stuey stopped speaking and genuinely didn't seem very well, I was thinking this was quite funny, then Ben Spies (Superbike World Champion) came over to say hi and be introduced to Stuey and myself. Stuey did not even raise his head and completely ignored him,(very unlike friendly Stuey).
“A few seconds later he started seizing up, he was sitting next to Anthony Peden aka Weapon (Casey Stoner's trainer)and went to grab him as he began to seize up. Peter lowered him to the floor as he went into a complete seizure.
“This lasted for over a minute and was absolutely horrific. He finally came out of it as the medics arrived and then he was taken to the medical centre. From there he was taken to hospital in Valencia where he is being held under observation till Wednesday. I spent Sunday with him and most of Monday before coming home, although he had a killer headache all Sunday he actually slept very well Sunday night and woke up feeling completely normal Monday.
“The doctors have run two or three tests and are completing them with an MRI this morning (Tuesday). They want to have a full diagnosis before releasing him. Their first impression is that there is a lesion on his brain which bled causing the fit. Stuey has already had two serious head injuries in the past decade, and it is most possible that it was one of these old injuries that did not handle the hyper tension caused by the extreme g-forces of Moto GP.
“We have christened him One Lap Wonder.”
O'Grady had suffered neurological problems after being hit on the head after a mugging in France in 1999.
Heading home soon
Max Stevens, of Cycling South Australia, said that the 36-year-old hopes to be released from the hospital within 24 hours, and that he plans to be driven back to his home in Monaco, rather than flying.
"He just needs a bit of time to slow down," Stevens told the Australian news agency AAP. "He's pretty confident he's okay."
At the medical check before the ride, "His blood pressure was a little high, but because he's an athlete they didn't worry about it," Stevens said.
"When he got off the bike, he knew there was something not quite right, he may have been a bit dehydrated beforehand - plus, he has had issues 10 years ago when he collapsed."
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