By Andrew Hood
Saul Raisin’s condition was reported as stabilized but still “very serious” on Thursday afternoon following surgery to reduce pressure on his brain from a hemorrhage early Thursday morning.
The 23-year-old Crédit Agricole rider had been placed in a drug-induced coma early Thursday morning after his condition worsened overnight following a crash Tuesday in the opening stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe. The crash left him with a broken clavicle and rib, plus serious cuts and scrapes to his face.
Doctors said Raisin’s condition had improved after successful surgery to alleviate the build-up of fluid on his brain, but stressed the cyclist remained in a “very serious” state.
“This morning it was life and death. Tonight it’s not as bad as that but it is still very serious,” a Crédit Agricole team doctor said. “He could be in a coma for a few days or a few weeks. All we can do is wait for the brain to heal.”
Crédit Agricole team manager Roger Legeay, who spoke with Raisin on Wednesday, said his condition worsened overnight when the cerebral edema developed.
“I spoke with yesterday morning and afternoon. Of course, he was very sleepy with the medication,” Legeay told VeloNews. “The big problem is with his head. He had fallen on his face, for that he had the hematoma.”
After the hematoma burst, doctors placed Raisin in a coma to reduce pressure on his brain, according to another Crédit Agricole team official.
“This morning the hematoma burst and he had a brain hemorrhage,”Crédit Agricole sport director Michel Laurent told James Starttof Bicycling. “There was too much blood for the doctors to get out,so the doctors induced a coma and their diagnosis is grave and reserved.Right now he’s not responding.”
In a message posted on Raisin’s web page, his parents were traveling to Europe after hearing about Raisin’s worsening condition.
“Saul has had an unexpected turn for the worse. Please keep him in your thoughts,” a statement read. “We are on our way to France to be with him. We will try to keep you updated.” They were expected to arrive at their son’s bedside on Friday.
Raisin, one of the most promising young American pros, had expected to start the Giro d’Italia in May. In August, Raisin bounced back from a broken hip in May to finish ninth overall at the Tour of Germany.
VeloNews.com will provide updates on Raisin’s condition as information becomes available.
Related links:Farrar,Raisin injured in costly crashes – April 5, 2006Up andcoming: A conversation with Saul Raisin – October 5, 2005Boonen finds the end of the rainbow – September 25, 2005Leipheimer seizes control of German Tour – August 18, 2005Raisin recovers – May 6, 2005Langkawi: Cox grabs overall lead on Genting – February 4, 2005