SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

'Positive outlook' for Sophia Floersch after nine-hour spinal operation

Sophia Floersch has undergone a lengthy operation on her spine to repair the injury she suffered in Sunday's...

Posted: Nov 20, 2018 12:39 PM
Updated: Nov 20, 2018 12:39 PM

Sophia Floersch has undergone a lengthy operation on her spine to repair the injury she suffered in Sunday's horrific crash at the Macau Formula Three Grand Prix.

Her Van Amersfoort Racing team released a statement detailing the complicated procedure, adding "the initial signs give a positive outlook towards her recovery."

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news and videos

"It took a team of specialists over nine hours to repair her fractured vertebra and remove a bone splinter, which was sitting dangerously close to her spinal cord," the statement read.

During the operations, doctors used bone from Floersch's hip to repair the damaged vertebrae.

READ: Sophia Floersch had 'an angel on her shoulder' to survive crash'

The 17-year-old's car was traveling at 171.6 mph (276.2 kph) when she lost control, going airborne and slamming into the track fence where marshals and photographers were gathered.

Japanese driver Sho Tsuboi, whose car Floersch collided with, was also taken to hospital along with two members of the media and one marshal.

'I'm going to come back!'

In a first message since the operation, Floersch thanked her doctor in Macau, Riccardo Ceccarelli, and all her fans for helping her through the last few days.

"[I] hope from now on it only gets better," she posted on Facebook. "I have to stay a few more days in Macau until I'm transportable.

"I want to thank all of my fans for every single get-well wishes, which I now start reading. This really motivates me and gives me courage.

"My thoughts are also with everyone who was involved in the accident. I hope everybody is healthy. "

The German also praised the people who attended to her in the car for their "encouraging, calming words in these tough minutes."

"Last but not least my Team Van Amersfoort Racing, Facu and Ferdinand, who all suffer with me -- you are phenomenal. I'm going to come back!

"By the way," she finished. "Dallara (car manufacturer) built a very good chassis."

'No fear of paralysis'

Van Amersfoort Racing team principal Frits van Amersfoort has told the BBC that "everything is working and everything is in order" following the procedure.

"Paralysis was the main fear," he explained. "That's why the operation had to be done quite quickly because there was a danger it [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."

Despite the terrifying incident, Van Amersfoort said he was "quite sure" Floersch would return to racing "after some time."

"Luckily enough winter is now beginning so she will have time to recover and I am quite sure that she will be back.

"That's what the racing blood always does -- coming back because this is the sport we all love."

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 546814

Reported Deaths: 10133
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2042584919
Riverside40452799
Orange38754704
San Bernardino34939497
San Diego31127583
Kern22009160
Fresno16625157
Alameda12884206
San Joaquin12119192
Santa Clara11336196
Sacramento10544155
Tulare10475196
Imperial9601240
Stanislaus9408151
Contra Costa8760136
Ventura803582
San Francisco732664
Santa Barbara665268
San Mateo5978120
Marin525778
Monterey515635
Merced485562
Kings445356
Solano395939
Sonoma335844
Madera226736
Placer209920
San Luis Obispo204716
Yolo166042
Santa Cruz12294
Butte10608
Napa104610
Sutter8936
El Dorado7161
San Benito6994
Lassen6380
Yuba5724
Shasta4119
Mendocino36310
Colusa3624
Glenn3603
Nevada3211
Humboldt2804
Tehama2711
Lake2202
Amador1620
Mono1531
Tuolumne1472
Calaveras1361
Del Norte960
Siskiyou920
Inyo863
Mariposa602
Plumas340
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 88°
Oroville
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 86°
Paradise
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 88°
Chester
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 75°
Red Bluff
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 102° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 86°
Willows
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 103° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 88°
After a couple days of comfortably cooler than average weather around northern California, highs rose rapidly to more seasonable levels this afternoon. The warming trend will continue through the weekend, too.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events