Carol Cooke is expected to stay at Juntendo University Hospital in Japan for up to a week as she recovers after puncturing her left lung in a serious accident during her T1-2 road race on Thursday.
The 60-year-old man, who has multiple sclerosis, also suffered heavy bruises and grazes in the accident. Late Thursday, doctors in the hospital emergency room inserted a chest tube and today (Friday) informed Cooke that his lung was resolving well.
“I can breathe normally and it doesn’t hurt,” said Cooke, who remains in a good mood despite his injuries. “I am beaten and bruised but have received so many messages from all over the world – which is amazing.”
Australian Paralympic Team Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin said Cooke would not be able to return with the team to Australia next week.
“Unfortunately, the nature of her injury means Carol will not be able to return home with her teammates, but we are working with the team’s medical staff and relevant government agencies to coordinate her stay in Japan and her safe return to Japan. Australia, ”Ms. McLoughlin said.
Cooke sent good luck messages this morning to Paige Greco and Alistair Donohoe who were racing today and has also been in contact with South African Toni Mold, whom she coaches.
The men’s and women’s races started at different times but were on the course together when Australian Stuart Jones saw Mold struggling to continue and rolled alongside him to cheer him on to the finish line .
“Toni texted me from the airport and said ‘your teammate did something for me today that I will never forget and I just wish we could have ended up together”, said Said Cooke. “I’m so proud of Stu and her because that’s the goal of the Paralympic Games.
“It’s not the medal – it’s the experience, not that we don’t strive to win a medal, but the experience and support from other countries when things aren’t going well are so important. and so amazing. “