Dutch Prince Johan Friso has been in a coma since he was buried in an avalanche while skiing earlier this year. The Dutch government released a statement about his condition on Monday, saying that he has shown occasional signs of minimal consciousness.
Johan is Queen Beatrix’s 44-year-old middle son and who gave up his right to the throne 10 years ago, reports CNBC. He was skiing off-piste by Leche in the Austrian Alps in February when he was buried by an avalanche.
The Dutch Prince’s skiing accident attracted a lot of media attention at the time. He was trapped under the snow for 25 minutes before rescuers were able to pull him out.
Prince Friso’s doctors have said that his brain was so starved for oxygen while he was stuck under the snow that he was in cardiac arrest for 50 minutes.
The Prince was later flown to London and has remained there since. He is undergoing treatment, but doctors say he has had severe brain damage and may never come out of a coma. Yahoo! News notes that the palace said in a statement:
“Recently Prince Friso has been showing small signs of consciousness. This condition is referred to as ‘minimal consciousness.’ The prognosis however remains very uncertain and the medical team is still very worried. It will still take many months before there is any clarity on his condition.”
The Dutch royal family was vacationing in Lech at the time of the Prince’s accident, where it usually spends its skiing holiday. Members of the family visited his bedside daily until he was transferred to London. They continue to hope that the Dutch Prince will be able to come out of his coma.