AIS cyclists making good progress

The five Australian Institute of Sport riders injured when in collision with a car last week are con

The five Australian Institute of Sport riders injured when in collision with a car last week are con

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Australian cyclist Alexis Rhodes is sitting up in bed and talking to family and friends a day after regaining consciousness in the intensive care unit of the University Clinic in Jena, Germany. But Australian Institute of Sport director, Professor Peter Fricker, says she will be in intensive care for at least another day or two.

"She's quite alert and chatty and is being cheeky which is good," said Prof. Fricker. "In a day or so the doctors will assess whether she can be transferred to a general ward but all the indications are positive.

"Doctors won't put a time frame on her release from hospital at this stage but they are pleased there are no signs of neurological damage," said Prof. Fricker. "She has been kicking her legs up and down and carrying out passive movements as requested by the doctors."

Louise Yaxley, who regained consciousness on Saturday, may undergo more surgery as early as tomorrow to treat her arms and one leg. "Louise is reasonably well orientated but still fairly uncomfortable with her injuries but so far there are no signs of complications," said Prof. Fricker. "She is really still coming round from the sedation and anaesthetics and she'll be in intensive care a little longer.

"Perhaps tomorrow she'll undergo more surgery by way of skin grafts to both arms and one leg," he said. "Doctors may also replace, if possible in the same operation, the fixation device in her right elbow with one that is hinged and allows some more movement."

Meanwhile, AIS team members Kate Nicols, Katie Brown and Lorian Graham, 27, have begun planning their return home. "All three will be heading back to Australia over the next two weeks or so and will continue their rehabilitation at home," said Prof. Fricker.

Champion cyclist and Atlanta Olympic Games rower Amy Gillett (ne Safe) died instantly when a teenage female driver reportedly lost control of her vehicle, crossed to the other side of the road and ploughed into the six member Australian women's team last Monday. Her funeral, followed by a memorial service, will be held next Friday July 29 in Ballarat. A second memorial service will be held at Adelaide's Super-Drome on Friday August 5.

Her family and Cycling Australia have established the Amy Gillett-Safe Cycling Foundation to honour her memory. The foundation will assist with the recovery of her injured team-mates, fund a sporting and academic scholarship programme for promising female cyclists, and promote road safety awareness amongst cyclists and motorists.

People wishing to donate to the foundation should visit the Cycling Australia website at www.cycling.org.au and follow the links from the home page. Alternatively, people can send an email with foundation in the subject line to acf.info@cycling.org.au to dicsuss their pledge.

Cycling Australia has also established an email link for people who wish to send condolence messages to the family of Amy Gillett or to pass on their thoughts and wishes to those injured. Go to www.cycling.org.au and follow the link on the home page. Message can also be sent via the Australian Sports Commission website www.ausport.gov.au. More than a thousand messages of support have already been printed out and couriered across to Germany for delivery to the hospital with more on the way later this week. Condolence messages are being delivered to Amy's family.

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