De Villota recovery described as ‘remarkable’

 

via AFP – 22 hours ago — Marussia test driver Maria De Villota is making a remarkable recovery from last week's horrific crash which resulted in her losing her right eye, her F1 team reported on Wednesday.

Jerome d'Ambrosio Image by nic_r via Flickr

The 32-year-old Spaniard required two operations at Addendrooke's Hospital in Cambridge after the accident at Duxford Airfield that saw her run into the tailgate of a stationary service vehicle.

Although her condition was life threatening over the first few days, on Monday De Villota showed enough of an improvement to be moved out of the Neurological Critical Care Unit.

A team statement read: “Despite severe injuries, Maria's recovery during that time has been remarkable.

“Following two successful surgical procedures in the days following the accident, last Saturday the medical team at Addenbrooke's Hospital began to gradually reduce the level of Maria's sedation.

“By Sunday morning, Maria was awake and able to speak to her family, which provided a very important – albeit early – indication that there were positive signs for Maria's recovery.

“Since that time, Maria has been making small but significant steps. She was moved out of the Neurological Critical Care Unit on Monday and is no longer receiving sedation.

“Her family remain by her side and she is communicating freely with them and the medical team. Medical assessments are ongoing to monitor Maria's improving condition.”

 

 

De Villota loses eye in F1 crash

By Alan Baldwin via REUTERS — LONDON | Wed Jul 4, 2012 12:33pm EDT

(Reuters) – Marussia's Spanish test driver Maria De Villota has lost her right eye and remains critically ill in hospital after surgery for facial and head injuries, her Formula One team said on Wednesday.

Aguirre demanda 'tolerancia cero' y 'romper el silencio' frente a los maltratadores (25 noviembre 2011)  (Image by Comunidad de Madrid via Flickr)                                                                                Maria De Villota in late 2011, seated far right  

De Villota was involved in an accident while driving the car for the first time on Tuesday in a straight-line test at Duxford airfield in the east of England ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix.

After completing one run and returning to the mechanics, her car suddenly accelerated into the back of a team truck with the 32-year-old's helmet taking much of the impact.

“It is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye,” team principal John Booth said in a statement.

Marussia said surgeons at Cambridge's Addenbrooke's hospital had embarked on a lengthy operation that began on Tuesday afternoon and kept the driver in theatre until Wednesday morning.

“Maria remains in a critical but stable condition,” the team said.

De Villota's family were with her at the hospital. The driver is the daughter of former F1 racer Emilio De Villota.

She was appointed test driver of Marussia in March, making her the only woman in such a role at the time although Williams have since handed a similar development role to Suzie Wolff.

The Spaniard has raced in various series and tried out a Renault Formula One car in August last year.

Marussia's race regulars are German driver Timo Glock, who missed the last grand prix in Valencia through illness, and Frenchman Charles Pic.

The British-based team, who were formerly known as Virgin Racing and have not scored a point since their F1 debut in 2010, have no reserve driver and De Villota lacks the necessary super-licence for the role.

Booth said the team had embarked on “a very comprehensive analysis of what happened and this work continues for the moment”.

He added that British-based Marussia had been overwhelmed by messages of support for De Villota, her family and the team.

(Editing by Clare Fallon)