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Doctors hail James Cracknell's "exceptional" recovery

Former Olympic rower walking round hospital unaided two weeks after horror crash

Former Olympic rower James Cracknell has astonished doctors in the United States with the speed his recovery from injuries received when he was hit from behind by a truck in Arizona a fortnight ago.

Last week, we reported that Cracknell’s wife Beverley Turner had revealed that it could be six months before her husband recovered from his injuries, including brain damage, sustained in the accident on 20 July near Winslow, Arizona as he filmed a documentary charting his attempt to travel from coast to coast by cycling, rowing, running and swimming.

The Daily Telegraph, for which both Turner and Cracknell are columnists, says that he is now walking around the hospital unaided, in contrast to last week when he was not able to sit up in bed or open his eyes. Cracknell is reportedly still confused, agitated and suffering from anmnesia, reports the newspaper, but it adds that doctors at the Rehabilitation Institute at the Phoenix Hospital, where he was previously in the Neuro-trauma recovery ward, have described his recuperation as “exceptional.”

Turner told The Daily Telegraph: “James has amazed the doctors with his physical progress. Since starting to walk with minimal assistance three days ago, he now spends hour after hour doing slow laps of the ward.”

She continued: "The nurses are charmed by his English manners but confess to never having seen a patient cover so many miles in one corridor.”

However, Turner acknowledged that her husband was still in the early stages of recovery, saying: “Despite the huge steps forward, my husband still has some way to go until he is back to his old self, but if anyone has the focus and drive to meet the challenges ahead, it is James.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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