F3 driver Floersch undergoes spinal surgery

Image by Ebrey/LAT

F3 driver Floersch undergoes spinal surgery

Formula 3

F3 driver Floersch undergoes spinal surgery

Sophia Floersch underwent at least seven hours of surgery on the spinal fracture she suffered in a horrific crash during the FIA F3 World Cup race at Macau.

Van Amersfoort Racing team principal Frits van Amersfoort told BBC World Service on Monday that there is no fear of paralysis.

“Everything is working and everything is in order,” he said.

“[Paralysis] was the main fear. That’s why the operation had to be done quite quickly because there was a danger [her spinal cord] could be damaged.

“We are extremely happy that she is now recovering and that everything went extremely well. There’s no fear of paralysis whatsoever.”

An update was posted on Floersch’s Twitter feed on Monday:

“The medical team is deliberately working slowly to avoid risks. The previous surgical course is good and without complications. The surgery that began this morning continues.”

Shortly after the second restart in Sunday’s crash-marred event, Floersch ran into the back of 15th-placed Jehan Daruvala on the run to Lisboa corner and, after clipping the inside curb, collected the TOM’s entry of Sho Tsuboi. Floersch’s car was launched over Tsuboi’s, over the barrier and catch fencing at an estimated 172mph, landing in an area occupied by track marshals and photographers. One marshal and two photographers also sustained injuries.

Floersch and Tsuboi were both conscious and alert after being extricated from their cars, although Tsuboi complained of back pain. They were transported to hospital along with the injured marshal and photographers, where Floersch was diagnosed with a spinal fracture and Tsuboi with “lumbar pain for future examination.”

Macau Grand Prix chief medical officer Dr. Chan Wai Sin said Tsuboi was discharged from the hospital. The marshal suffered a broken jaw and a second individual had abdominal pain from a lacerated liver, according to medical reports the Macau GP sent to AFP.

Asked if Florsch will return to racing, van Amersfoort told the BBC, “I’m quite sure that Sophia will — after some time of course.”

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