Motocross legend Stefan Everts has revealed that a further amputation as a result of a Malaria infection could be around the corner.
The 46-year-old was seriously hit by Malaria at the end of 2018 which resulted in the 10-time world champion being placed into a coma in a hospital in Leuven – at the time there was a real concern for his life as he battled what is considered to be a serious tropical disease.
Since then, Everts has been back in the hospital on several occasions and undergone amputation surgery twice to remove dead toes. A total of six toes have been removed with the most recent surgery taking place earlier this month.
Everts, who has tried to remain in good spirits throughout his ordeal, was hopeful he had put the worst of the Malaria fight behind him but in an interview last week, he revealed that he may have his big toe removed.
“We have just returned from Germany. I went to train with my son, but we had to return because we had problems with the motorcycle,” Everts told Belgian footballer and sports analyst, Imke Courtois as he gave her a tour of his private motocross museum.
Everts got to know Courtois as he spent some time teaching her the basics of riding a motocross bike just days before he became ill.
Since then “a lot has happened”, Everts said. “I now have fewer toes than titles,” he joked.
“The worst thing I’ve been hit on is my right foot. A lot has died. The surgeons have already amputated six toes. And this week I have to go in for the big toe on my right foot.”
“It’s all bad. But the view is still the worst for me. I think it’s really dirty, sorry. It is exactly as if they came by with the grinding wheel.”
Everts goes on to explain that the doctors want to amputate as little as possible and that he will need to undergo a skin transplant in the future.
As always, Everts has plenty of fight in him and his son Liam and motocross is what refreshes him. “When I have recovered everything, I [will] go back to the gym and [I] want to run laps again,” Everts revealed.
Family, now more ever, is vital to Stefan and he couldn’t have got this far in his recovery without the constant support of his wife Kelly. Opening up to HLN, he said: “My family is now my top priority, and my love for Kelly has only grown,” he said.
“There is a chance that I will also lose my big right toe, and I have no idea at all of the impact that the loss of my toes will have on my stability.
“I am still fully recovering from the operations and therefore still use crutches, but I assume that I will be able to walk independently again. Really walking is another question.”
Stay courageous Stefan. Your fans are behind you all the way.
You can watch the interview and see some of Stefan Everts private moto museum here.