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Dutch prince Johan Friso 'may never regain consciousness'

Dutch prince Johan Friso is in a coma and may never regain consciousness after suffering brain damage in an avalanche while skiing off-trail in Austria last week, doctors said Friday.

Johan friso 2012 02 24Enlarge
Dutch Prince Johan Friso photographed with wife Princess Mabel in May. On Friday doctors said the prince is in a coma and may never regain consciousness after being injured in an avalanche while skiing off-trail in Austria last week. (TOUSSAINT KLUITERS/AFP/Getty Images)

Dutch prince Johan Friso, injured in an avalanche while skiing off-trail in Austria last week, is in a coma and may never regain consciousness, doctors said Friday.

Wolfgang Koller, head of Innsbruck University Hospital’s trauma unit, told a press conference broadcast live on Dutch national TV that it took nearly 50 minutes to reanimate Friso after he was pulled from the snow near the Lech ski resort, according to the Associated Press.

The prince suffered massive brain damage after being buried under snow for about 15 minutes when the avalanche struck around noon local time last Friday.

The avalanche reportedly measured about 30 meters wide by 40 meters long, according to the BBC. A beeper Friso was wearing allowed rescuers to reach him quickly by helicopter.

“It can’t be said with certainty at this point whether Prince Friso will ever regain consciousness again,” Koller told reporters at Friday’s news conference, according to the Agence France Presse.

Friso, 43, who is married with two young daughters, is the second son of the Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix. He will be moved from Innsbruck to a private rehabilitation clinic for further treatment at a later date. 

More from GlobalPost: Prince Johan Friso of Netherlands critically injured in avalanche

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/benelux/120224/dutch-prince-johan-friso-may-never-regain-consciousness