Alex Zanardi has been released from hospital 18 months after a serious handcycling crash left him in intensive care, his wife Daniela has confirmed.
Zanardi was placed in a coma after he collided with a truck during a race last year, and the family were left outraged when the person driving it was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The ex-Formula 1 driver and four-time Paralympic gold medallist has since had several rounds of surgery, but is now in a position to be able to continue his rehabilitation at home.
Daniela said he left hospital “a few weeks ago” and confirmed when speaking to BMW that while there is still the possibility of him having setbacks, he is now receiving care in more comfortable surroundings.
“The recovery continues to be a long process,” she said. “The rehabilitation programme led by doctors, physiotherapists, neuropsychologists and speech therapists has enabled steady progress.
“Of course, setbacks are there and can still occur. Sometimes, you also have to make two steps back in order to make one step forward. But Alex proves again and again he is a real fighter.
“An important step was that Alex was able to leave hospital a few weeks ago and is back at home with us now. We had to wait very long for this and are very happy it was possible now, even if there are still temporary stays in special clinics planned for the future to carry out special rehabilitation measures on site.”
Daniela said earlier in the year the racing driver-turned-Paralympian was still unable to speak, but he is still going through his recovery step by step and she took time to thank those who have sent kind messages throughout a challenging time for he and his family.
“You still can’t predict how his recovery will further develop,” she added. “It is still a long and challenging way that Alex tackles with a lot of fighting spirit.
“It is a big help for him and us that we receive so much support on this way, not only from the doctors and therapists that intensively work with him. Our friends are always there for us. This includes the BMW Group family, which we can always count on and that is firmly at our side also in this difficult time.
“We are very grateful to everyone for that and for so much more because these strong ties give us additional energy. This also goes for the continued sympathy we receive from racing drivers, fans and acquaintances from all over the world.
“We would like to express a big ‘grazie’ to all who send their good thoughts and power to Alex.”