Despite falling three stories down an elevator shaft, racing legend Sir Stirling Moss is expected to make a full recovery within two months.
Moss was preparing to use the custom-built elevator in his Mayfair, England, home, but a malfunction prevented the elevator car from docking with the upper floor. As the cabin light isn’t activated until passengers step into the car, Moss unwittingly stepped into an empty shaft, and subsequently fell three stories.
Luckily, his injuries were rather limited. A press release issued by the family indicates he broke both ankles and four bones in one foot, suffered from several skin abrasions, and also has four chipped vertebrae. Moss has reportedly had surgery to repair both ankles, but is now “comfortable and recovering” in a London hospital.
Remarkably, the release says the 80-year-old will recover in six weeks.
Moss and his wife were originally planning to jet off for Florida this week, as he was scheduled to serve as an honored guest and judge at the 2010 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The show will honor cars that raced in the Cuban Grand Prix -- Moss won the event in two of its three occurrences.
UPDATE - Sir Stirling sent the following message this morning:
TO ALL MY FRIENDS (AND ALL THOSE WHO ARE KIND ENOUGH TO CARE),
DEAR ALL OF YOU, THE LAST FEW DAYS HAVE BEEN QUITE FANTASTIC AND I'D LIKE TO THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR YOUR KIND THOUGHTS, MESSAGES AND OTHER PARAPHERNALIA. ON SATURDAY EVENING, I WAS AT HOME WITH SUSIE, ELLIOT AND HELEN AND ABOUT TO LEAVE FOR A CURRY, FOR WHICH WE WERE RUNNING LATE.
I ASKED HELEN TO JOIN ME IN THE LIFT TO GO DOWNSTAIRS, BECAUSE SUSIE AND ELLIOT WERE SMART ENOUGH NOT TO RIDE IN MY LIFT. I OPENED THE DOOR AND STEPPED INTO THE LIFT, WITH HELEN READY TO FOLLOW ME, WHICH SHE NEVER DID. THAT IS BECAUSE THE LIFT HAD STOPPED ON THE FLOOR ABOVE AND INCORRECTLY ALLOWED THE DOOR BENEATH IT TO OPEN. STILL CHATTING TO HELEN, I STEPPED INTO THE OPEN DOORWAY-- AND FELL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE LIFT SHAFT. THE AMBULANCE WAS CALLED AND ARRIVED AT RACING SPEED, WHEREUPON THEY PUT ME ONTO A SERIES OF ABOUT 10 STRETCHERS! HAVING FINALLY SETTLED ON WHAT MUST HAVE SEEMED A GOOD ONE, I WAS TAKEN, ALONG WITH MY FAMILY TO THE ROYAL LONDON HOSPITAL IN WHITECHAPEL, WHERE THEY USED ANOTHER BATCH OF SIMILAR STRETCHERS! THEY DID A GOOD JOB OF HELPING ME, BUT WERE UNABLE TO DO THE REQUISITE SURGERY. SO, ON THE SUNDAY, I WAS MOVED TO THE PRINCESS GRACE, WHERE A FANTASTICALLY EFFICIENT, KIND AND AMUSING STAFF DID ALL THE JOBS. I AM NOW IN A LOVELY ROOM, NUMBER 222, AND WITH THE HELP OF ELLIOT AND THE PORTER, AM FINALLY ON THE EMAIL. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I WILL BE ABLE TO ACTUALLY SEND THIS TO YOU, BUT I WILL TRY! NOW FOR THE FUTURE... WHICH I CAN SEE WITH SUSIE, HELEN AND ELLIOT AROUND ME, IS GOING TO BE A BLOODY STRUGGLE! AS SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW, SUSIE AND I ARE BOOKED ON A SEABORNE CRUISE FOR OUR 30TH ANNIVERSARY, NEXT MONTH. I HAVE TO CROSS THE HURDLE OF GETTING THE DOCTORS, AND FAMILY HANGERS-ON, TO ALLOW ME TO THIN MY BLOOD, IN ORDER TO AVOID ANY ISSUES INVOLVING DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS. IT WILL BE SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS FROM SUNDAY BEFORE I WILL ABLE TO PUT ANY LOAD ON MY FEET. THEREFORE I'M FACING MY SIXTH OR SEVENTH REDUCTION TO A WHEELCHAIR (SUSIE SAYS SHE'S STOPPED COUNTING) WHICH I MUST ADMIT, IS RATHER BORING. THE GOOD NEWS IS; THAT I DIDN'T SELL THE WHEELCHAIR AFTER THE LAST SHUNT! THE WHOLE THING IS A REAL PAIN IN THE ARSE, IF I HAD LOOKED WHERE I WAS GOING, I WOULDN'T BE HERE AT ALL, SO IT'S MY OWN DAMN FAULT. I HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMED BY YOUR COLLECTIVE CONCERN AND KINDNESS. I CAN TELL YOU THAT CURRENTLY I'M LYING IN HOSPITAL, TAKING DEEP BREATHS, LIFTING ONE ARM WITH THE OTHER, RAISING MY LEGS (WITH PLASTERS ON THE END) AND DOING ALL I CAN DO TO KEEP MYSELF AS MOBILE AS POSSIBLE, BUT, HAVING SAID THAT, I'M NOT YET WINNING THE BATTLE. I'M NOT SURE WHEN I'LL BE ABLE TO GO HOME BUT THE LIFT HAS TO WORK, OTHERWISE I'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO GET UPSTAIRS IN MY WHEELCHAIR, MAYBE I'LL GO AND STAY WITH HELEN AND ELLIOT FOR A WHILE... THIS REALLY HAS OPENED MY EYES TO HOW KIND ALL MY FRIENDS ARE, OVER AN OLD EX- RACING DRIVER, FLOGGING A FADING IMAGE! I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU SOON, MANY THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS, CIAO
Source: Stirling Moss