Yaxley's condition improves

Australian cycling Louise Yaxley is showing welcome signs of improvement in a German hospital after

Australian cycling Louise Yaxley is showing welcome signs of improvement in a German hospital after

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Family and friends of Australian cyclist Louise Yaxley have been buoyed by news today that she has recognised her parents and satisfied a series of cognitive tests conducted by doctors at the University Clinic in Jena, Germany. Yaxley was one of five Australian Institute of Sport riders injured when they were in collision with a car while out training last Monday. Team-mate Amy Gillett was killed in the incident.

Yaxley had been heavily sedated and her breathing assisted by a ventilator but doctors today reduced the medication to bring her back to consciousness so they could carry out the tests.

"They asked her to poke her tongue out and she poked her tongue out," said Cycling Australia national performance director, Shayne Bannan. "There are still some issues but generally she repsonded well to the tests. Then they brought in her parents (Annette and Brian) and boyfriend (Mark Padgett) and even though she was fairly drowsy because of the medication it was clear she recognised them," he said.

Doctors are also happy with the progress of Alexis Rhodes, and have decided against operating on her to repair broken bones in her back.

"She's making a lot of progress and the doctors are quite confident the bones around the spinal cord will heal themselves," said Bannan, adding that doctors may look at reducing her sedation in a few days and waking her up. However, for now both Yaxley and Rhodes remain in intensive care.

Katie Brown, Lorian Graham, and Kate Nichols are all recovering well and are staying together in a private room, with Nichols expected to be released sometime next week and the other two in two to three weeks' time.

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