As the first sign of snow starts to arrive in Finland, and 23 days after his serious crash, Matti Lehikoinen is making excellent progress. After a series of weekly x-rays, the doctors have said all is looking very positive and the vertebrae are well stabilized. There is a small compression in one of them, but this is inoperable and not serious in nature.
Matti is walking around the house and has basic mobility, and is able to stand up for 30 minutes at a time without problem, and is now only taking pain killers at night to help sleep. This is a pretty impressive recovery rate to this point and a great relief to all of his family and friends.
Today Matti was interviewed by Finnish TV, and together with the leading newspaper in Helsinki, his story has become one of national media interest as he continues to progress with great positivity.
Also released today are the first photos of his accident. We have agreed with Matti to post these on the 23 Degrees web site, not for any shock value, but to give a better understanding of how this accident happened. There are also photos of his Lazer helmet showing the important role it played in preserving Matti's head.
"I really feel the difference every day. Last Sunday was probably one of my worst days, fighting the boredom and also trying to kick the pain killers, but since then, each day I have felt the progress. For example, today is the first day I have been able to cough without severe pain. And as for sneezing, I have sneezed twice since the accident and you just don't wanna know what that was like. Normally you never remember sneezing, but those two bastards will stay with me forever. I will start working with my new Intense team on projects for next year which will help the time fly by," said Matti today from home as the forecast shows snow arriving Friday, and the start of the long Nordic winter and a recovery that Matti hopes will see him back at World Cup 1, next May in Maribor, picking up where he left off.
Photos at: www.23degrees-sports.com/news