By Jason Sumner, VeloNews associate editor
Maybe a little home cooking was all John Waddell needed. Just days after leaving a Quebec City hospital and returning to his native Australia, the 22-year-old downhiller has come out of his coma.
According to an update from ITS-Santa Cruz team director Derin Stockton, Waddell and his mother made the trip back to Australia where he was checked in to a hospital. His mom went home after the first day to spend a night at home. When she came back the next morning she was surprised to find her son awake, sitting up in bed and feeding himself soup.
“While he was pretty groggy after being out for so long, he was talking to her and he remembered events that happened while he was unconscious, which is a really good sign,” Stockton wrote in an e-mail. “John will stay in his current hospital for about one more week, and then be moved to a rehabilitation hospital nearer his home. While we will still have to wait for some time to see exactly how well he will recover, the signs that he has shown so far are a welcome shot in the arm towards his long-term prognosis.”
The crash that originally put Waddell in the hospital occurred near the end of his run at the Mont-Ste-Anne World Cup downhill on June 28, when he carried too much speed into a jump and overshot the landing. The majority of the impact was to Waddell’s head and he had been unconscious ever since.