Zanardi back in intensive care as condition becomes unstable

Auto racing champion-turned-Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi had been on a ventilator in a medically induced coma since a crash earlier this year.

Alex Zanardi had both his legs amputated after a horrific crash in September, 2001.   -  AP

Italian auto racing champion-turned-Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi was moved back into intensive care on Friday, three days after being transferred to a neurological rehabilitation center.

Zanardi was moved from a hospital in Siena to the Villa Beretta rehab center in Costa Masnaga on Tuesday, a month after getting seriously injured in a handbike crash.

But the hospital which runs the center said Zanardi has been transferred to the intensive care unit at the San Raffaelle hospital in Milan after his condition became unstable.

Zanardi underwent three delicate surgeries at the Siena hospital to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face after crashing into an oncoming truck near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19 during a relay event.

The 53-year-old Zanardi, who lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago, had been on a ventilator in a medically induced coma since the crash.

Zanardi suffered serious facial and cranial trauma, and doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

Zanardi won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.

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