Austrian female pole vaulter paralysed after accident

Vienna: Austria's top female pole vaulter Kira Gruenberg has been left permanently paralysed from neck down following a training accident.

Her manager Thomas Herzog confirmed that the Thursday accident occurred when Gruenberg landed on the pole vault box on her head and neck during a routine training session here, leaving her with a fracture of the fifth cervical vertebrae, reports Xinhua.

There is little room for a positive outcome, doctors said.

He said the 21-year-old Gruenberg was fully conscious and understood the prognosis after doctors informed both her and her family about it.

Gruenberg, who holds the domestic pole vault record, will remain in the intensive care unit of the Medical University of Innsbruck where she has been since the doctors operated on her for several hours following the accident.

Herzog said Gruenberg has been reading the numerous messages of support from around the world for which she expressed her thanks and that her family hopes she can remain strong as she deals with her predicament.

"The medical prognosis is harrowing, but nothing is set in stone, and therein lies the entire hope," he said.

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