- Bianchi Accident
Bianchi out of artificial coma but remains critical
Jules Bianchi is no longer in a coma and has been transferred to a hospital in his native France, his family has confirmed.
Bianchi remains in a critical condition but is breathing unaided and his vital signs are stable after his accident at the Japanese Grand Prix seven weeks ago. The family referred to the news as "an important step" in a statement released on Wednesday.
"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 the statement.
"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."
Bianchi suffered severe head injuries when he crashed into a recovery truck at the Japanese Grand Prix in wet conditions seven weeks ago.