Fabio Jakobsen spoke on Tuesday of how he had feared for his life after a Tour of Poland crash two weeks ago and said he still faced “multiple facial surgeries” to treat his injuries.
The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider was put in a medically induced coma after a collision with compatriot Dylan Groenewegen as they sprinted to the finish on the first stage of the race.
The 23-year-old, who was pitched into the barriers and collided with a race official, was operated on for five hours after the accident and transferred to a hospital in the Netherlands last week.
“It was a difficult, dark period for me in the ICU, where I was afraid of not surviving. Thanks in part to the organization behind the Tour de Pologne and my team Deceuninck – Quick-Step, my family was able to be close to me, which gave me a lot of strength”, said Jakobsen in a statement.
“Last Wednesday I was transferred to the Leiden University Medical Center. I was admitted to the ENT department and treated further. Step by step I can start to live more independently. Currently I am at home, where the wounds in my face and my injuries can continue to recover. In addition, I have to rest a lot in the coming months because of a severe concussion. In the coming weeks and months, I will undergo multiple surgeries and treatments to fix facial injuries.”
“Hereby, I want to let everyone know that I am very grateful that I am still alive. All the messages and words of support have given me tremendous strength. Step by step I can slowly look to the future, and I will fight to recover.”
“In particular I would like to thank Dr. Rafael, who was my surgeon in Poland, Dr. Vanmol, who was present as a team doctor in Poland, Patrick Lefevere who brought my family close to me and Agata Lang and family who, on behalf of the Tour of Poland, did very well in taking care of my family.”