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Matti Lehikoinen Injury Update

September 21, 2007 – The latest news is all good news as Matti ends his second day in hospital. The doctors have confirmed that there is no risk of paralysis and that a decision on whether or not to operate, will be taken on Monday. Today Matti had his catheter removed, was able to sit up for a small time and eat, and with the assistance of a special walking crutch/frame, was able to walk(!) a short distance to the bathroom.

Matti had a non-stop run of visitors today during visitor hours, starting with his parents, followed by dozens of friends. His mobile phone was handed back, and it had more than 100 SMS messages from the past 24 hours. All of this is helping Matti remain positive and determined to get back on his feet properly.

While talking to Matti today, more details came to light about the accident.

“I landed directly onto my head, but slightly to the right. The helmet is marked on the top at the right. Also I have a big skin abrasion on my right collarbone where the jawline of the helmet cut me, that’s how far over my head was. The doctors feel that on impact my spine twisted one way, and then the next, like a zig-zag, and they say it’s a miracle it’s not a lot worse. The three vertebrae have what they call a compressed fracture. They are in the area of the spine that are level with the chest. I’m still in pain but can breathe fairly comfortably, but I want to thank everyone who has contacted me with nice messages, it makes you realize how lucky you are to have so many friends and people that care, and that makes me want to get better as soon as possible.”

The doctors are predicting that with or without the operation, Matti will remain hospitalized for another two or three weeks, then start three months of rehabilitation. It will be a further couple of months before he can expect to put any regular athletic demands on his back again.

We hope to have another update on Monday.

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