Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen admitted he feared for his life after a horror crash at the Tour of Poland left him in hospital and in intensive care.
“The trauma doctors and nurses at the finish line in Katowice saved my life, for which I am extremely grateful to them,” Jakobsen wrote in a letter published by his Deceuninck QuickStep team on Tuesday.
“I spent a week in the intensive care unit (ICU) at St Barbara hospital in Sosnowiec.
“Here they immediately operated on me for five hours and gave me the chance to live. I am very grateful to all employees of this hospital.
“It was a difficult, dark period for me in the ICU, where I was afraid of not surviving.”
“Step by step I can slowly look to the future”
Dutch Champion @FabioJakobsen has a message for all those who sent him their support in the past couple of weeks: https://t.co/2wfynLrwk0#ForzaFabio #TheWolfpackNeverGivesUp pic.twitter.com/ENx8593r01
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) August 18, 2020
Jakobsen, 23, has since returned to the Netherlands to continue the long journey back to health.
“Step by step I can start to live more independently,” he said.
“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.”
Jakobsen suffered head injuries on the opening stage of the race when compatriot Dylan Groenewegen leaned into him on a sprint finish and slammed him into the barriers.
Groenewegen was disqualified and has apologised while Polish criminal prosecutors opened an investigation into the incident.