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Wife waits by injured biker's bedside

Motorcyclist Shaun Harris is fighting for his life in hospital after a horrific race crash in Timaru. Photo / Getty
Motorcyclist Shaun Harris is fighting for his life in hospital after a horrific race crash in Timaru. Photo / Getty

For the second time in nine years, Fiona Kelsen is sitting by her husband's hospital bed hoping he wakes up after a devastating motorcycle crash.

Shaun Harris, 52, came off his bike during a qualification run for the New Zealand Superbike Championships in Timaru on Saturday last week.

He had only recently got back on the saddle after a crash at the Isle of Man TT in 2007 which left him in an induced coma for close to a month with a severe head injury, a shattered pelvis, broken arms and legs, a fractured vertebra and a few missing teeth.

The father of four was preparing for a long-awaited return to the TT when he fell from his 450cc Suzuki on a hairpin turn at the Timaru International Motor Raceway.

He now has multiple bleeds in his brain and is being kept sedated in Christchurch Hospital's intensive care unit.

"What they've said to me is it's a waiting game, it's every day wait and see," Kelsen told the Herald on Sunday.

"But that's better than when we first arrived - it was, 'Fiona, we'll give you 72 hours and then we'll have a chat about turning life support off'. So things are more positive - way more positive - now."

Kelsen spent about three months in Britain after Harris' 2007 accident and has again had to rush from their Taranaki home to be by his side.

If Harris does recover, Kelsen believed he would attempt another comeback.

The couple, who first met when they were 10 or 11 years old, have been together for 20 years.

"He's a pretty amazing guy, and he's amazingly determined. Nobody saw the behind-the-scenes work he put into getting back to where he is [since 2007] ... It would be so awesome if he could just wake up."

- Herald on Sunday

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