Van Ruijvens condition deteriorates: She fights for her life

Lara van Ruijven is not doing well. The medical condition of the 27-year-old short tracker is deteriorating and is still critical, reports the KNSB.

“Lara is currently fighting for her life” says Jeroen Otter, national coach of the Dutch short trackers. “With incredible perseverance she has won the world title on the ice, but this battle is much harder. We all empathise with her and hope with all our hearts that she will come out on top”

Van Ruijven was at training camp with the Dutch short track selection in Font Romeu when things went wrong at the end of last week. It turned out that she had an autoimmune reaction, which led to serious complications, including internal bleeding. In an autoimmune reaction, the immune system turns against her own body. An autoimmune disease occurs when something goes wrong when clearing the bodys own cells. It can then happen that properly functioning cells are removed by the body. This can lead to organ damage.

Two operations

Van Ruijven has already had surgery twice. However, her situation has not improved. “She is still in intensive care, where she is kept in an artificial coma. It is expected that this situation will not improve for the time being”, according to the KNSB.

Van Ruijven, who had recently undergone shoulder surgery, was looking forward to the training camp. After rapid rehabilitation, she would be back on ice for the first time.

Van Ruijven is considered one of the best short trackers in the Netherlands. In 2019, she became world champion in the 500-metre world championships in Sofia. A year earlier she belonged to the relay formation that took Olympic bronze at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Van Ruijven, Jorien ter Mors, Yara van Kerkhof and Suzanne Schulting conquered bronze from the B-final, a rarity.