Stig Broeckx has suffered severe brain damage as a result of a crash involving a motorcycle at the Baloise Belgium Tour last month, and is now in a vegetative state as doctors have so far been unable get him out of a coma.
The Lotto Soudal team issued a medical update on Saturday explaining the worrying and deeply saddening prognosis, which places doubt over whether the 26-year-old can return to consciousness.
Broeckx was the most severely affected by the Belgium Tour crash, which was caused when two in-race motorbikes collided and careered into the peloton. He was induced into a coma and underwent surgery to relieve intracranial pressure in his head, a result of multiple bleeds in his brain.
The team announced earlier this month that he was no longer in danger of losing his life but he remained in a coma while doctors have sought to ascertain the full extent of the damage.
"The past days the neurosurgical team of the hospital in Genk has reduced the medication of Stig in an attempt to get him out of coma," read the latest update on Saturday.
"Unfortunately Stig doesn’t respond to stimuli like sound or movement. The doctors confirm that Stig has incurred severe brain damage, in the brain stem and different brain regions.
"He is now in a vegetative state. At the moment it is difficult to predict if the consciousness can partially come back.
"Out of respect for the family there won’t be any further comments."
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