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Fabio Jakobsen underwent a five-hour surgical operation to repair fractures to his face and skull, and the Dutch sprinter may soon be taken out of a medically induced coma.
“Today we will try and wake him from the coma,” Pawel Gruenpeter, deputy head of the hospital told Polish media. “A CT-scan has been carried out and the brain does not appear to have been affected. The main injuries are to the face. Fortunately, the eyes have not been affected. The condition is serious but stable.”
The positive update follows more than a day of worrying news surrounding the Dutch sprinter’s health following the terrifying crash, which occurred when Jumbo-Visma sprinter Dylan Groenewegen veered into Jakobsen during a high-speed sprint into Katowice. The impact sent Jakobsen careening into the barriers at nearly 80kph.
According to the race doctor, Barbara Jerschina, Jakobsen lost substantial blood following the crash. He was immediately taken to a hospital where doctors went to work to save the 23-year-old’s life.
“He lost a lot of blood, but we managed to intubate him, his tracks breathing were free. We gave him oxygen every medication needed. The heart was working fine. He has no injury to the rib cage, it is especially the skull and the brain,” Jerschina said after the crash.
The next update on Jakobsen’s health was delivered several hours later by Gruenpeter, who explained that Jakobsen suffered multiple injuries to his head and chest in the pileup. Gruenpeter explained that Jakobsen would be kept in the hospital’s intensive care unit, where doctors would perform surgery on his head and face.
“The intervention of specialists in maxillary surgery and plastic will be needed,” Gruenpeter told Polish station TVP Sport. “The time of the operation will depend on the state of health of the patient.”
Jakobsen’s girlfriend and parents reportedly traveled from The Netherlands to Katowice overnight to be alongside Jakobsen during his fight.
Just 23, Jakobsen hails from the town of Heukelem, located south of Utrecht. In three pro seasons, he has already amassed 18 professional victories, among them two stages of the Vuelta a España and back-to-back victories at Belgium’s Scheldeprijs classic. In 2019 he became the youngest pro rider in a decade to win the Dutch national road championships.