Jules Bianchi is out of artificial coma and has been transferred to France
But Frenchman remains unconscious and in a critical condition
By William Esler
Last Updated: 20/11/14 9:16am
Jules Bianchi is out of his artificial coma and has been transferred to his native France, but remains unconscious and in a critical condition.
The Marussia driver had been in a coma since suffering head injuries in a horrific crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in October.
His family say Bianchi is now breathing unaided and that his “vital signs are stable” but that “his condition is still classified as ‘critical’.” His condition was considered “sufficiently stable”, though, to be transported aeromedically to Le Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice in France on Tuesday night.
“Almost seven weeks after Jules’ accident at Suzuka Circuit, and following a challenging period of neurological intensive care, we are able to announce that Jules has made an important step," Bianchi’s parents Philippe and Christine said in a statement.
“Jules is no longer in the artificial coma in which he was placed shortly after the accident, however he is still unconscious.
“He is breathing unaided and his vital signs are stable, but his condition is still classified as ‘critical’. His treatment now enters a new phase concerned with the improvement of his brain function.
“Jules’ neurological condition remains stable. Although the situation continues to be serious, and may remain so, it was decided that Jules was sufficiently stable to be repatriated to his native France.
“We are relieved, therefore, to confirm that Jules was transferred aeromedically last night from the Mie Prefectural General Medical Center in Yokkaichi, Japan, to Le Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice (CHU), where he arrived just a short time ago. Jules is now in the intensive care unit of Professors Raucoules and Ichai, where his care will also be monitored by Professor Paquis, Head of Neurosurgery Service.
“We are thankful that the next phase of Jules’ treatment can continue close to home, where he can be surrounded and supported by his wider family and friends. We have nothing but praise for the outstanding care provided by the Mie Prefectural General Medical Center since the accident.
“We owe the medical staff there an enormous debt of gratitude for everything they have done for Jules, and also for our family, during what is a very difficult time for us. In particular, we would like to extend our thanks to Doctors Kamei and Yamamichi, and also to Mr Ogura, all part of the team of personnel caring for Jules in Japan.”
The FIA has launched an investigation into the accident, which came when Bianchi lost control of his car in wet conditions and hit a vehicle recovering Adrian Sutil's Sauber.
Yellow flags were out after Sutil's crash the previous lap and the governing body has since trialled a 'virtual safety car' which, if adopted, would force cars to drive past accident scenes at lower speeds.