Madrid, Spain – June 1, 2020 – Twenty-seven days after the incident that landed Olympic-hopeful Juan Matute Guimon, in intensive hospital care, the 22-year-old rider is now conscious and making remarkable steps toward recovery.
One of the top ranked riders for Spain, Matute Guimon qualified for the FEI World Cup Finals for the first time this year, which he had hoped to attend prior to the cancellation due to COVID-19. However, he fought for his life in May after he collapsed after a ride on Tuesday, May 5 and was airlifted to the Hospital Universitario la Paz in Madrid. It was there that doctors discovered he was experiencing severe brain bleeding due to an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a congenital disorder involving convoluted tangle of veins and arteries prone to high pressure due to arterial blood flow. After doctors determined the difficult location of the bleeding and stopped the bleeding in a 3-hour surgery, Matute Guimon was transferred to Jimenez Diaz Hospital for a complex 7-hour specialized surgery. Several leading neurosurgeons successfully performed the complex and high risk procedure that he needed to survive.
On Sunday, May 31, Matute Guimon was awake sitting in a chair when his parents arrived to his room and smiled at him. Though he cannot speak yet due to the ventilator, he used his head to answer questions with positive indication that his memory is in tact.
His sister Paula Matute Guimon, who has been providing updates on her brother’s condition via social media, posted most recently on June 1: “The good news continues! Today’s CT couldn’t have been better so they removed the drainage. The neurologist is amazed with Juan’s cognitive level and they are hoping he will be leaving the ICU soon.”