Juan Matute Guimon Opens Eyes, Squeezes Hand Recovering from Brain Surgery

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

May 23, 2020

Juan Matute Guimon followed instructions to open his eyes and squeeze his hand Saturday, two weeks after major brain surgery in Madrid.

The progress of Juan, the 22-year-old Spanish team rider in Jiménez Díaz Foundation hospital was reported by Paula, his sister.

“With happy tears in our eyes and the biggest smiles we’ve had in a long time, we are so happy to share with all of you that this morning although he is still sedated, Juan followed instructions, they asked him toopen and close his eyes, to squeeze his hand and he did!!!!!!!!!!!”

Steady progress in Juan’s condition has been reported since the operation that was performed after he collapsed May 5 following riding in Madrid where he has been living for the past two years. He moved from his family home in Wellington, Florida to develop his riding and to go to university.

The collapse was found to be a “congenital malformation” in the brain.

A delicate, seven-hour operation by a neurosurgical team at Jiménez Díaz Foundation hospital was declared 100% successful.

In the two weeks since the surgery, his family has provided daily updates.

Juan became an American citizen along with his family two years ago and a decade after moving to Wellington, Florida but continued to ride under the Spanish flag.

On the world standings, he is the second and third highest Spanish rider on different horses. He was on the team at the 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games team that earned a start for Spain at the Tokyo Olympics.

Juan was campaigning for one of the three places on Spain’s team for Tokyo that have been re-scheduled for the summer of 2021 after being delayed for a year by the coronavirus pandemic.