Media Contacts

Marissa Villasenor

Phone: 801-581-3102
Pager: 801-581-2121

Jan 29, 2014 1:30 PM

Note to Media: the statement below from University of Utah Health Care and Team Brazil physician Antonio Marttos, M.D., is released on behalf of Lais Souza. The statement will be updated as needed. Media outlets sending crews to Salt Lake City to cover this story should check in with Marissa Villasenor at or 801-581-3102 before entering University of Utah Hospital.

Salt Lake City - Lais Souza, a 25-year-old member of the Brazilian Winter Olympic team was critically injured while skiing in Park City, Utah on Monday, Jan. 27. She is currently being cared for in the Neuro Critical Care Unit at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. Lais suffered a severe cervical spinal cord injury.

According to her medical team, Lais underwent surgery to realign and stabilize her spinal column. Lais is awake and following commands but unable to move her arms or legs and requires a ventilator to breathe.

Lais will undergo two additional surgeries, a tracheotomy and gastrostomy later this week. Lais is able to shrug her shoulders but still has no movement in her limbs. Her medical team would like to stress the importance of the next few days to her recovery. 

Her care is being overseen by Holly Ledyard, M.D., a neurointensivist, and Andrew Dailey, M.D., a neurosurgeon, both with University of Utah Health Care.

“Lais has a long recovery ahead of her. At this point, we cannot predict her long-term prognosis.  She is receiving excellent medical care and her medical team is doing everything they can to ensure the best possible recovery,” said Team Brazil physician Antonio Marttos, M.D.