Juan Manuel Correa has released a public statement for the first time since sustaining severe injuries in the crash that killed F2 driver Anthoine Hubert.
Correa underwent a 17-hour surgery on Sunday which was deemed successful by doctors. The American driver has been in hospital since suffering severe leg injuries in the crash at Spa-Francorchamps on August 31.
His recovery has been complicated. The Sauber Junior Team driver fell into Acute Respiratory Failure and placed into an induced coma last month. Correa opted for surgery on his right leg rather than a reconstructive amputation.
After surgery, he now faces at least a year of rehabilitation. Correa said he is still trying to process the events of the last few weeks.
“These past few weeks have been extremely tough, tougher than anything I have ever faced both physically and mentally,” he said. “I understand my future regarding the recovery of my legs, specifically my right leg is still quite uncertain, and that my physical rehabilitation will be extremely long and complicated.
“I am still processing everything that has, and is, happening.”
Doctors declared his surgery a success but said the next 72 hours will be crucial in his recovery. He will require additional surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation period.
The Correa family statement said: “Doctors performed a combination of orthopedic flap and external fixation surgeries, and after 17 hours in the operating room, the 20-year-old emerged with hopeful news from doctors that the surgery was successful. The days following the surgery were stressful, as though deemed a success in the operating room, the next 48-72 hours were critical in the final outcome of the flap surgery procedure.”
“More than 72 hours later, doctors are confident in a successful procedure while still under careful observation.
“During the procedure, doctors were forced to remove more bone material than they anticipated and solve several blood vessel issues, but state that the main objective of the surgery was achieved.
“Doctors expect Juan Manuel will be able to leave the hospital in approximately six weeks. He will then embark on the road to recovery. The next year will be full of physical therapy, rehabilitation and corrective surgeries with the aim and objective of regaining the full use of his right foot and ankle.”