The family of injured Formula One driver Jules Bianchi released a statement today explaining that Bianchi has been taken out of the artificial coma he was placed in after the wreck. He is breathing on his own and has moved to Nice, France, to continue his recovery closer to his family and friends.
This news comes almost seven weeks after sustaining a severe diffuse axonal head injury from crashing into a tractor at the Japanese Grand Prix.
While he remains in critical condition per the doctors attending to him in France, the fact that he was in a stable enough condition to move from Japan as well as starting to take on more basic functions such as breathing on his own are very positive signs in his recovery.
Marussia Formula One teammate Max Chilton posted the full statement on his Twitter account, copied below:
A Statement from the Bianchi Family | 19 November
Wednesday 19 November 2014
The parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, would like to provide the following information regarding Jules' medical care, by way of an update to the media and his fans.
"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," read a statement from his parents, Philippe and Christine.
"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."
Keep fighting the good fight, Jules. We wish you nothing but the best in your recovery.
Photo credit: Getty Images