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Friday
Jan132012

Skier Sarah Burke in Critical Condition After Torn Artery Repair

JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke was in critical condition Thursday after undergoing a successful operation to repair a torn vertebral artery that had caused bleeding to her brain.

Burke, 29, sustained "serious injuries" after an accident Tuesday in which she crashed on a half-pipe ramp in Park City, Utah.

"With injuries of this type, we need to observe the course of her brain function before making definitive pronouncements about Sarah's prognosis for recovery," Dr. William Couldwell, the neurosurgeon at the University of Utah who performed Burke's surgery, said in a press release from Burke's publicist.  "Our Neuro Critical Care team will be monitoring her condition and response continuously over the coming hours and days."

Burke, who is not only one of the best female skiers in the world but a red carpet regular and fashion plate who was once named one of FHM's 100 sexiest women alive, hit her head after a faulty landing while on a training run in the Eagle Superpipe at Park City Mountain Resort.

During the accident, Burke injured a vertebral artery, a set of major arteries in the neck which supply blood to the brain, and resulted in an intracranial hemorrhage, according to a release from her publicist.

"She remains in critical care, intubated and under sedation to allow her brain and body to heal," her publicist told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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