Fiji Time: 6:08 PM on Sunday 23 October

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Brazilian skier fights for life after accident

Saturday, February 01, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - A Brazilian gymnast who was due to compete in the freestyle skiing competition at the Sochi Olympics is fighting for her life after hitting a tree during a recreational skiing session in Utah.

Lais Souza, 25, is unable to move her arms or legs and can't breathe on her own following the accident which occurred on Monday.

Brazilian team doctor Antonio Marttos confirmed the news of her injuries at a news conference in Salt Lake City.

"Right now, her spirits are very good," Marttos said.

"She is a fighter. Athletes always do better, to improve."

Doctors haven't declared Souza paralysed, but admit there's a possibility of permanent damage.

"She dislocated a vertebrae near the top of her spine," said Dr. Andrew Dailey, a neurosurgeon with University of Utah Health Care.

"She remains in critical condition, still using a breathing machine and unable to talk.

Dailey said Souza has no feeling in her arms or legs but claimed it's still too soon to know whether she'll regain feeling.

The young Brazilian, who participated in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics as a gymnast, has been skiing for about six months. Dr Holly Ledyard, a member of the University of Utah hospital's neuro critical care unit who is overseeing Souza's treatment, said her relative skiing inexperience didn't play a role in the accident, but said the long-term future could be bleak.

"Souza is relying on a breathing machine, and it's possible she may have to for the rest of her life," Ledyard said.

Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.65020.6312
JPY 51.786748.7867
GBP 0.39950.3915
EUR 0.44950.4375
NZD 0.68980.6568
AUD 0.64760.6226
USD 0.49350.4765



Exchange Rate updated on 21st October, 2016

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Death probe
  2. Love conquers all
  3. Times online uploads moved to 10am
  4. LTA warns on permits
  5. More nurses needed
  6. Ruci captures award
  7. Fiji to lead .5 degree challenge
  8. Hotel staff clean up foreshore
  9. Couple give books to cyclone-ravaged schools
  10. EU ready to help

Top Stories this Week

  1. Former flight attendant invests in farming business Wednesday (19 Oct)
  2. Calls for USP vice chancellor to step down Tuesday (18 Oct)
  3. 'I heard Soko screaming in pain' Friday (21 Oct)
  4. A daughter's sacrifice Thursday (20 Oct)
  5. Dad's cry for justice Tuesday (18 Oct)
  6. Rugby offer Monday (17 Oct)
  7. 'I never knew Soko' Thursday (20 Oct)
  8. Hero's welcome Wednesday (19 Oct)
  9. 18 workers on the run Tuesday (18 Oct)
  10. My heart cries out Monday (17 Oct)