Amber Halliday’s condition improving well, will leave hospital soon
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Monday, February 28, 2011

Amber Halliday’s condition improving well, will leave hospital soon

by VeloNation Press at 6:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
2010 Australian time trial champion unlikely to return to cycling

Amber HallidayAlthough she’s still feeling the effects of the brain injury she suffered in a crash at Victoria Park in January, Amber Halliday is moving forward well in her recovery and is expected to head home in two to three weeks.

The 2010 Australian time trial champion has said that she has noticed an improvement in her condition and now feels like she is making decent progress.

“I feel like it's taken me this long to wake up. I've been fully conscious for a while, but I feel like I've only woken up in the last few days,” she told the Sunday Mail in recent days.

“It changes every day, how clear everything is. I don't get that drunk feeling like I used to. I just used to feel like I was drunk all the time or tipsy. I slurred my speech, stumbled and couldn't remember things, which still happens a little.

"I thought I was dreaming up until about a week ago, and it was only because I noticed that I was waking up in the same spot, that I thought `maybe this is real'."

The 31 year old has been hospitalised ever since her heavy fall in the Rendition Homes Cup event on January 17th. It is thought that she clipped the wheel of another rider, landing on her face and suffering factures plus bleeding and bruising to her brain.

A month and a half later, she still has a weakened left side due to the brain injury. Her left eye hasn’t opened since the crash and it is thought that the nerve damage responsible for this might take up to a year to heal.

"Every day that I wake up, I'm hoping to open up both of my eyes,” she explained. “It hasn't happened as yet and it's still very early days with that, but it is something I'm very self-conscious about.”

However other issues are improving. “My concept of time, and my tastebuds, used to be all screwed up but now they are getting back to normal.”

Most likely won’t race again:

Halliday took up competitive cycling after competing in the 2008 Olympic Games as a rower. The multiple world champion quickly showed talent on two wheels, getting the Amy Gillett Scholarship in 2009 and then winning the Australian TT championship in 2010.

Having suffered a bad injury, she’s now not thinking about returning to competition. She states that she loves the sport and the people in it, but doesn’t envisage a time when she will be racing again.

“It's a great mode of transport, and, but going back in 2004, I had a major injury before the Olympics, and that was because somebody drove out in front of me and I crashed my bike into a 4wd,” she explained. “I've loved it, I've loved the people in cycling, I love it as a mode of transport. But cycling and I sort of have a love-hate relationship.”

Her priority now is to get well, to return to full health and to enjoy time with her family and partner Mello Bouwmeester. She also wants to return to her job as a journalist with the Sunday Mail.

If and when she can resume a normal life, she’ll be satisfied with that. “I still lack confidence, but I have more faith that in the end I'll get there," she said. "I'll be what I used to be. Maybe not elite athlete Amber, but I'll get back to full health which is the most important thing.”


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