Top South African cyclist Lynette Burger is on the road to recovery and was released from the hospital intensive care unit (ICU) last night, her husband David Pieterse confirmed today.
Burger, 37, who rides for the Demacon Ladies cycling team, was hit side-on by a taxi which drove through a red traffic light in Boksburg almost two weeks ago. She had been out on a training ride early on the morning of Wednesday September 26.
She suffered two punctured lungs, slight bleeding on the brain, a broken collarbone and all her ribs on her left side were broken.
That weekend she was placed under sedation to allow the pain to subside before the doctors attempted to work on her.
Asked for an update on Burger’s condition today, Pieterse said she was moved to a general ward last night and was “fully conscious”.
“She is off the ventilator and both the drains [that were] in her lungs have been removed as well. It’s looking good at this stage,” Pieterse told In the Bunch.
“She even gets to see her kids today, the first time they have been allowed to see her in the two weeks.”
The doctors were optimistic, Pieterse added. “At the moment they are just watching over her for blood clots and things like that, because obviously there was a lot of blood in her lungs.
“They are also monitoring any post-traumatic stress [she might encounter]. They are not going to operate on her ribs or anything; most of that has already moved back in place.
“As her lungs expanded, it obviously moved her rib cage back into position. They will let everything heal as is,” he said, adding that Burger would be under observation for about another two weeks.
Pieterse said aside from experiencing pain and discomfort, Burger was also confident about her recovery and even started walking on Saturday.
“She’s on the go and she has received physio [therapy] every day. She does a lot of walking and gets tired very quickly. By the afternoon she is quite out of breath, but that’s understandable considering [the damage to] her lungs.
“She’s quite upbeat and optimistic. She doesn’t remember anything, though. The last thing she remembers was her sister’s wedding two weeks ago.”
They received a scare on Friday, however. “That’s when they scaled down on all her medication, weaning her off to wake her up out of the induced coma.
“All the fluids from her lungs went to her throat while they tried to drain everything out. She was in big trouble, but on Saturday morning she was standing upright and walking.
“She had a very good weekend, let’s put it that way.”