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Amy Pieters remains unconscious but stable one month after crash in Spain

ROUBAIX, FRANCE - OCTOBER 02: Amy Pieters of Netherlands and Team SD Worx crosses the finishing line in the Roubaix Velodrome - Vélodrome André Pétrieux during the 1st Paris-Roubaix 2021 - Women's Elite a 116,4km race from Denain to Roubaix / #ParisRoubaixFemmes / #ParisRoubaix / on October 02, 2021 in Roubaix, France. (Photo by Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)
Amy Pieters of Netherlands and Team SD Worx at Paris-Roubaix Femmes (Image credit: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

Amy Pieters remains unconscious following a crash while training one month ago in Spain. According to an SD Worx official medical update, Pieters has shown improvement in levels of consciousness and she is breathing on her own.

“Cyclist Amy Pieters has been undergoing treatment in a Dutch hospital for several weeks after her fall during training in Spain just before Christmas. The Pieters family has been receiving many questions about the current state of affairs, but for now there is little change to report about the situation, which the family experiences as uncertain," SD Worx wrote in a medical update released on Thursday.

"The cyclist is breathing independently, but is currently not conscious."

Pieters was training with the national track team on December 23 in Spain when she suffered a crash and lost consciousness. She was airlifted to hospital in Alicante where doctors performed surgery to relieve pressure on her brain and placed her in a medically-induced coma.

SD Worx confirmed on January 5 that Pieters had been transported by airplane from Spain to hospital in the Netherlands by a specialist team of Eurocross. At that time, the team confirmed that she was breathing independently, the sedation had been phased out, and that her situation was stable but unchanged. 

In their most recent medical update, SD Worx confirmed that Pieters has been transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to an inpatient unit to continue her treatment and recovery under the care of neurosurgeon and neurotrauma specialist Professor Wilco Peul.

“Professor Wilco Peul, a neurosurgeon and neurotrauma specialist who is treating her, reports that she has made it through a very serious brain injury, during which she underwent the first life-saving surgery, the acute critical phase of artificial coma in the Intensive Care Unit, and has come through it relatively well, according to the circumstances.  In terms of slow recovery, she has now been transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to an inpatient unit one month after the accident.  This is a long period of uncertainty for any patient with very severe brain injury, during which recovery surgeries can cause changes in consciousness,” SD Worx wrote.

“Currently, some improvement can be seen in her consciousness. However, Amy Pieters is not awake. The sequel is still unpredictable. It is expected that after her hospitalization, if her condition in terms of physical health is stable, she will face a long rehabilitation period. 

"This situation is for Amy and her family an emotionally difficult and uncertain period. The family would like to thank everyone for their support. Within Team SD Worx, our deepest sympathies go out to Amy and her family," the team wrote.

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.