Categories: News

Walter Roelants is being prepared for repatriation after a fall in Dakar: “An operation is not urgent”


Walter Roelants spent the night in the intensive care unit of the hospital in Riyadh. His condition is stable. Surgery is not urgent. As soon as the blood is out of his lungs, he will be repatriated. Organizer ASO is preparing that homecoming, together with Roelants’ team and son Axel.

Vincent Van GenechtenSource: BELGIAN

Axel Roelants left the hospital in Riyadh a little after midnight. After a conversation with the surgeons and specialists, there was a sense of relief. “Together with the team manager, I left the hospital last night, after we had viewed and discussed all the results,” says Axel Roelants. “My father spent the night in intensive care. This is done to constantly monitor him for internal bleeding, among other things.”

After a conversation with a few surgeons and with doctor Toon Claes in Herentals, there was good news, given the circumstances. “The fracture of vertebra D8 is a beautiful fracture as doctors sometimes like to describe it. Specifically, that means we don’t have to worry about paralysis. Surgery is needed, but it is not urgent. As for the fracture in the neck, that requires no follow-up. My father will have to rest for a long time. Surgery is not necessary. Before there is talk of repatriating daddy home, the blood must have completely disappeared from his lungs. In consultation with organizer ASO and the team, we are looking at all the options to get him home as soon as possible,” concludes Axel Roelants.


French pilot Philippe Boutron out of coma

French rally driver Philippe Boutron, who was seriously injured in an explosion of his vehicle before the start of the Dakar rally on December 30 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is no longer in a coma. His son Benoît of the French radio station RMC confirmed this.

“He is still seriously injured but has left a comatose state,” said Benoît Boutron. “Both legs were badly hit. Things are progressing little by little, but he’s going to need a lot of time to recover.”


On Tuesday, French prosecutors in Paris opened a terrorism investigation into the explosion. A multiple murder attempt in relation to a terrorist group is being looked into. According to the Saudi authorities, a criminal offense is excluded. They speak of an accident.

Boutron, 61, was repatriated to France and is recovering in Percy Hospital, near Paris. To relieve the pain, he was placed in an artificial coma.

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