BRITISH bobsleigh competitor Serita Shone - a Leeds Metropolitan University graduate - is expected to make a “full recovery” after suffering a spinal fracture in a crash yesterday.
The 22-year-old and team-mate Fiona Harrison, from Sheffield, were involved in the accident during training in Winterburg, Germany, ahead of the British Championships which start today.
While Harrison suffered head injuries, Shone was described as being in a critical condition yesterday. However, a spokesman for Shone revealed this morning the former heptathlete is in good spirits and, though she remains in intensive care, is now in a stable condition.
“I’ve been in contact with her parents and spoke to Serita herself last night,” said PR manager Ben Clatworthy.
“The good news is she’s got full feeling in her legs and she can move them as well after the first bout of surgery. She will have further surgery in the coming days.
“Her spine was stabilised (in surgery) and she’s had pins put in to do that initial stabilisation of her spine.
“Her exact time of return to the UK is not clear at the moment but her parents are going to Germany to look at that. It won’t be before the next lot of surgery which is taking place at the specialists’ in Germany.”
Clatworthy delivered a positive long-term prognosis.
“They are expecting a full recovery with no paralysis,” he said.
“It is too early to say when she’ll return to bobsleigh but she’s a dedicated athlete and will do her absolute utmost to be back in competition and I’m sure the accident won’t deter her from hopefully reaching the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
“She said she’s already ‘bored’ in bed, which you have to take as a positive, because if you’re in excruciating pain in bed then you’re not really going to be bored, so that’s a good bit of news.”