CRITICALLY ill jockey Juana Andreou’s husband is praying she is ‘still in there somewhere’ after needing two emergency brain surgeries following a horror kick.
And devastated Jesse Hemmens has revealed he was also fighting for his life in the same intensive care unit where his new wife now lies just 12 months ago.
Andreou, 28, was rushed to Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia last week after being booted in the head by a horse.
She has had two brain surgeries in quick succession to stop bleeding and reduce pressure, but remains in an induced coma.
Andreou’s horror incident came on a terrible week for racing Down Under.
Two other women jockeys were left fighting for their lives after racecourse falls.
Leah Kilner, 24, has fortunately made good progress since being airlifted to hospital in a coma after she was dislodged during a race in Brisbane.
Meanwhile, Elissa Meredith, 27, was rushed to hospital after a similar fall, fortunately waking from her coma last weekend.
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Andreou’s husband Jesse said his new wife – who he married just last April – remains in a ‘really critical state’.
And he said he knows all too well how difficult it us for loved ones given he had to fight for his own life one year ago following bowel surgery complications.
Speaking on Sunday, he said: “Juana is everything to me, my best friend and the most generous caring person you could want as a wife.
“I’ve had my own health issues for a long time and had surgery 12 months ago that went sideways and I nearly died.
I WON’T LEAVE HER SIDE
“She never left my side and I’ll never leave hers.
“We almost lost her last night but she’s fought back and has been stable for the day today.
“She is strong-willed and determined.”
Speaking of the steps doctors have taken, he added: “She’s on medication to control that swelling and hopefully bring it down.
“She had some more brain activity scans done on Monday so we’ll know more soon.
“Fingers crossed our Juana is still in there somewhere.
“They are at the limit with surgical options.
“They did have a drain in to relieve pressure on the brain but they took that out on Sunday because it wasn’t working that effectively.
“It’s basically just medication to keep the swelling under control.
WE HAVE INCREDIBLE SUPPORT
“Once doctors are happy with the swelling, we’ll look at bringing her out of her coma, but that is still a long way off.
“Even when she does come out of it, it’s going to be a really long road back.
“Most likely there is going to be some sort of brain deficit due to the amount of head trauma that has been caused.
“As with any brain injury, she’s going to require a lot of care to get her back.
“There’s no quick fix like a broken arm that you put in plaster and it’s healed in six weeks.
“Thankfully we’ve got some incredible support around us.”
A Go Fund Me Page has been set up for Juana and already amassed tens of thousands of pounds.