Alex Zanardi has returned home from hospital nearly a year and a half after a life-threatening road crash left the double CART champion and gold-medal winning Paralympian with serious head injuries.
Ex-Williams and Jordan Formula 1 driver Zanardi was riding his handbike in Siena when he was involved in a collision with a large vehicle in June 2020, which left him with “major facial cranial trauma, a smashed face, and a deeply fractured frontal bone [forehead]”.
Three initial surgeries were deemed to have gone well but he was taken back into intensive care one month after the incident.
He’s been in a special clinic since last year but in an update issued via Zanardi’s long-time partner BMW, his wife Daniela confirmed he is now at home.
“An important step was that Alex was able to leave hospital a few weeks ago and is back at home with us now,” said Daniela, who issued a previous update in July on Alex’s condition.
“We had to wait very long for this and are very happy that it was possible now, even if there are still temporary stays in special clinics planned for the future to carry out special rehabilitation measures on site.
She added: “The recovery continues to be a long process.
“The rehabilitation programme led by doctors, physiotherapists, neuropsychologists and speech therapists has enabled steady progress.
“Of course, setbacks are there and can still occur. Sometimes you also have to make two steps back in order to make one step forward. But Alex proves again and again that he is a real fighter.”
Asked about the expectations of the recovery process, Daniela said: “You still can’t predict how his recovery will further develop.
“It is still a long and challenging way that Alex tackles with a lot of fighting spirit.
“It is a big help for him and us that we receive so much support on this way, not only from the doctors and therapists that intensively work with him. Our friends are always there for us.
“This includes the BMW Group family which we can always count on and that is firmly at our side also in this difficult time.
“We are very grateful to everyone for that and for so much more because these strong ties give us additional energy.
“This also goes for the continued sympathy we receive from racing drivers, fans and acquaintances from all over the world.
“We would like to express a big Grazie to all who send their good thoughts and power to Alex.
“We wish everybody a merry Christmas and all the best for the new year.”