Juan Matute Guimon Recovery a “Miracle,” Dad Reports, Expects to be Out of Intensive Care in Few Days

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The Matute family of Juan, Maria, Paula and Juan. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

June 1, 2020

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The rapid recovery of Juan Matute Guimon from brain surgery was a “miracle,” his father reported from Madrid Monday, and said the 22-year-old Spanish team rider could be out of intensive care “in a few days.”

“The last scan today was just perfect,” Juan Matute Azpitarte, Juan’s father, told dressage-news.com, “the word ‘perfect’ was used by the doctor, it couldn’t be better.

“They couldn’t believe in the last 72 hours the progress Juan has made, both physically and mentally.

The doctor talked to Juan for 15 minutes explaining the situation and the doctor said it was a miracle, difficult to understand. Of course we know Juan is an athlete but it is unbelievable how strong he is and his determination.

“They expect if nothing changes, very, very soon, in  a few days, he will leave the intensive care unit to a regular room in the hospital. I  can’t believe it. So far, unbelievable.”

Tuesday will mark the fourth week since Juan collapsed after riding and was helicoptered to a hospital where he was found to have a congenital brain disorder.

Neurosurgeons at the Jiménez Díaz Foundation hospital four days later repaired the abnormality in a seven-hour operation.

With his mother, Maria, and father at the hospital throughout the ordeal, Juan began to display signs of recovery a week ago and on Sunday showed significantly more progress, including being removed from the respirator and sitting in a chair.

The report Monday from Juan’s father, a three-time Olympian for Spain but with his family has lived in Wellington, Florida for more than a decade, was of continuing improvement. The family became American citizens two years ago, but Juan opted to compete for Spain and moved to Madrid to develop his dressage and to go to university.

Juan’s father said he has continued to train the horses, Quantico and Don Diego, since the collapse and has informed Juan of the current situation of show cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Juan earned a start at what would have been his first World Cup Final, but the event scheduled for Las Vegas in mid-April was canceled because of the coronavirus. He was also likely to have qualified for Spain’s team for the Olympics in Tokyo that were deferred for a year because of the pandemic. He rode Quantico on the squad at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon that earned the team berth.