Prince Johan Friso suffered ‘very serious’ brain damage during his skiing accident and doctors cannot say if he will ever regain consciousness, the head of the medical team treating the prince told reporters on Friday.
The prince, queen Beatrix’ second son, was hit by an avalanche while skiing off piste with a friend a week ago. He was under the snow for at least 25 minutes.
Doctor Wolfgang Koller told a short news conference Friso’s heart stood still for 50 minutes, leading to a shortage of oxygen to the brain. If the prince does regain consciousness, it could be months or even years before he recovers, Koller said.
‘Fifty minutes is very long, you could say too long,’ Nos television quoted Koller as saying.
Wolfgang Koller explains the prince’s injuries at a news conference on Friday. Photo: Novum
Doctors had hoped to limit the damage to Friso’s brain by keeping his body temperature low. However a MRI scan on Thursday revealed severe brain damage.
The doctor said the royal family is now looking for another institution where the prince can be nursed. He is currently in hospital in Innsbruck while the rest of the family are in the ski resort of Lech.
Meanwhile, prime minister Mark Rutte has cut short his skiing holiday because of the tragedy.