Professional BMX dirt rider T.J. Lavin remains unconscious, but doctors have removed his breathing tube and Lavin is reportedly breathing on his own. "They took his ventilator off, but he still hasn't woken up. He is breathing on his own," said Lavin's friend Cesar Flores on Thursday morning. "He's having a hard time waking up. 24 hours and we will be out of the woods if all goes well," added Lavin's mother Barbara.
Lavin's condition was upgraded from critical to serious at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
The 33-year-old Las Vegas native suffered bleeding on the brain, a broken wrist and an orbital fracture following a crash during dirt qualifying at the Dew Tour Championships on Thursday, October 14. Over the past week, Lavin has remained unconscious in a medically induced coma to reduce swelling in his brain. Lavin additionally developed a slight fever and pneumonia, which he was administered antibiotics for.
On Wednesday, Lavin reportedly showed some signs of gaining consciousness. "T.J. slightly opened his left eye, then opened both eyes for five seconds. He squeezed my hand and wouldn't let go," said Flores yesterday.
Lavin rose to fame on the BMX dirt scene in the early years of the X Games. He earned a silver medal in 1996 and a gold medals in 1997 and '99. In the years since, Lavin has remained an aggressive competitor on the Dew Tour Circuit while branching out as a TV host for ten seasons of the "Real World/Road Rules Challenge." The Dew Tour Championships was to be Lavin's last contest as a professional before retiring.