Juan Matute Guimon Out of Intensive Care, American & German Specialists to Work With Madrid Hospital Team on Rehab

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Juan Matute Guidon. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

June 15, 2020

Juan Matute Guimon on Monday was moved out of intensive care and into a regular room at the Madrid hospital where he has been recovering from a life-threatening brain disorder that caused the 22-year-old Spanish team rider to collapse six weeks ago, his father reported.

Recovery of Juan’s brain was described as “incredible” by his father, Juan Matute Azpitarte, a three-time Olympian for Spain, who with his wife, Maria, has been in Madrid throughout the ordeal.

Improvement in his physical condition had also been “very fast.” he said after Juan was moved to a regular room at the Jiménez Díaz Foundation hospital in Madrid.

Doctors and physiotherapists at the hospital will evaluate Juan’s current condition along with experts from an American and a German company that specialize in rehabilitation in neurological cases.

In the last 48 hours, Juan’s father told dressage-news.com, “there was another big improvement in the strength reaction of Juan’s body. The brain recovery was incredible for that short period of time, after this type of critical surgery and is still progressing very fast in the body as well.

“It’s incredible how many people, from doctors to companies from all around the world have offered Juan all the technical support to bring him back to full health as soon as possible,” he told dressage-news.com.

“We can’t say enough THANKS to so much help and best wishes for Juan’s full recovery.”

The Spanish Olympic Committee and the national equestrian federation, he said, have followed Juan’s case throughout and have “offered all the help and support to bring Juan back to the sport as soon as possible.

“The entire horse community with all the prayers and positive energy sent to us has helped provide the faith to win this battle.”

Juan, brought up in both Spain and Wellington, Florida, where his family moved more than a decade ago–he has both Spanish and American citizenships–has been hospitalized since collapsing May 5 with what was discovered to be a genetic brain disorder.

Neurosurgeons at Jiménez Díaz Foundation hospital successfully operated on Juan four four days after the collapse following riding. He moved to Madrid two years ago to go to university and improve his dressage.

He was successful on both sides of the Atlantic in youth divisions, and after moving up to senior ranks was selected for Spain’s team for the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon to qualify a team for the Tokyo Olympics.

His competition results in Europe, the Middle East and Florida made it virtually certain he would have been invited to the World Cup Final in Las Vegas. His top two horses and ranked second and third among Spanish combinations on the world standings. He also believes he could have made the Spanish team for the Tokyo Olympics. However, the World Cup was canceled and the Olympics put off for a year to the summer of 2021, both because of the Covid-19 pandemic.