The physical challenges continue for Amy Pieters as a recent series of epileptic seizures have slowed her recovery from a traumatic brain injury suffered 14 months ago.
Her SD Worx team issued a statement Friday, confirming that the accomplished Dutch WorldTour rider has had a relapse in some of the mobility she had developed in continued therapy and along with adjusted medication has made impacted her mental recovery as well.
“It ‘s been quiet around Amy Pieters for a while and there are reasons for that. Her rehabilitation can sometimes go less good. This is mainly due to a number of setbacks that she had to deal with. Pieters has had several epileptic seizures in a short period of time that slowed down her recovery,” the team posted on its web site.
“This is a difficult period for her, but also for everyone who works and interacts with her.”
It was more than a year ago, December 23, 2021, that The Dutchwoman was riding near Calpe in Spain with the national track team when she suffered a crash and lost consciousness. She was airlifted to hospital in Alicante where doctors performed surgery to relieve pressure on her brain and placed her in a medically-induced coma.
Pieters was heading into her sixth season with SD Worx after the 2021 season. It was one of her best seasons as a veteran with a dozen years in the peloton, winning Nokere Koerse, the Dutch road title, a stage at The Women’s Tour and the points jersey at the Healthy Ageing Tour. Prior to that she had competed in two Olympic Games on the track and had won three world titles with Kirsten Wild in the Madison from 2019-2021.
She spent the first four months of 2022 in a coma, then continued her recovery at the Daan Theeuwes Centrum, a facility dedicated to intensive neuro-rehabilitation. Six long months later, Pieters took her first steps since the crash, using some assistance to walk small steps. She then made strides by riding on a side-by-side tandem bicycle. However, during all this time she had experienced epileptic seizures and has been unable to speak.
“Pieters can now answer with a clear yes and no, but unfortunately it is not yet possible to really have a conversation in sentences. She mainly communicates with facial expressions,” the Team SD Worx statement explained.
“Pieters still prefers to get on her bicycle and go for a ride outside, rather than sitting on an indoor bike in the gym. The Amy Pieters foundation has purchased an adapted bicycle for her, as well as a system…
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