Monday's EuroFile: Raisin soon home-bound; Disco gears up for Giro; Will Basso double?
By Andrew Hood
VeloNews European correspondent
This report filed May 1, 2006
There's good news for Saul Raisin as it appears he could be returning to the United States soon following a life-and-death struggle in a French hospital.
The 23-year-old lapsed into a life-threatening coma following a crash last month in the Circuit de la Sarthe, but according to a report posted on his web page, Raisin is improving by the day and he's expected to travel back to Georgia to begin rehabilitation.
"Hopefully this will be our last report from France. Saul is strong enough to move home and we have started the ball rolling," his parents wrote. "Saul is improving every day. He is seating, walking with help, eating and whispering."
The improvement comes as a relief following a harrowing struggle for Raisin, who suffered a cerebral edema in the early hours of April 6 after crashing hard with 2km to go in the first stage at the Circuit de la Sarthe two days before.
Raisin was put on a respirator and underwent two surgeries to reduce dangerous swelling on his brain, but prospects were initially guarded concerning his prognosis. Since then, Raisin has battled back and looks to have a good chance at a full recovery.
It already seems Raisin's trademark tenacity is back. His parents reported that it was Raisin - not the French doctors - who initially removed the breathing tube that's assisting his recovery.
"We did not tell this before, but Saul was not taken off the respirator earlier, he pulled it out
. After 24 hours they had to reinsert it," his parents wrote. "(April 24) they took it out again and so far Saul does not need it and hopefully he will not need it."
Most important right now is Raisin's full recovery and rehabilitation and there's been no talk of a comeback to competition racing for the moment. Raisin also suffered a lung infection, but that also shows signs of improvement.
Raisin's parent also thanked the hospital staff and support from fans who've shown an outpouring of concern for the popular Crédit Agricole rider.
"All the people here in France have been great to us and especially to Saul," they wrote. "Saul still has a long hard road to travel, but we all know he can do it. Thanks to everyone for your support. If you see us, we need a hug."
He pulled out his own respirator!!! thats awesome..... hope to see him back in the pro peloton soon!