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Péladeau to need wheelchair for a few months after bike accident

Pierre Karl Peladeau waves April 7, 2014 in Montreal.

Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS

If Pierre Karl Péladeau makes an appearance at the National Assembly this spring, it will be in a wheelchair.

Doctors treating Mr. Péladeau held a news conference Wednesday on the condition of the media tycoon and rookie politician after he suffered a bicycle accident over the weekend. The good news is that Mr. Péladeau appears to have avoided brain damage or the need for surgery.

The bad news is that Mr. Péladeau has numerous fractured bones that will leave him in hospital for about a week and wheelchair bound for about three months.

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Dr. Bernard LaRue, an orthopedist at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke, said Mr. Péladeau has three main areas of injury: the right shoulder, the right part of his torso, and his pelvic area.

More specifically, the broken bones include his collarbone, shoulder blade, five ribs, pelvis, and sacrum, which is the lower part of the spinal column.

"All of these injuries will be treated in a non-surgical way, so that's good news," Dr. Larue told reporters in Sherbrooke. We can foresee a positive functional prognosis, that he will heal well, but he will time and need rehabilitation to resume normal function."

Neurosurgeon Dr. Jocelyn Blanchard said Mr. Péladeau's head was examined with a CT scan. While he definitely suffered head trauma, there's no evidence so far of potential for lasting damage, he said.

"His helmet was damaged, and the patient himself said he thought he fell on his head, so there was at least moderate head trauma," Dr. Blanchard said.

Mr. Péladeau, 52, was supposed to take his seat in the National Assembly this week after winning a seat in a riding north of Montreal in the election April 7. The doctors said Mr. Péladeau's first question was when he'll be able to take his spot.

"There shouldn't be any problem for him to go soon, as long as the parliamentary buidlings are [wheelchair] accessible," Dr. LaRue said.

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Mr. Péladeau, an avid longtime cyclist, was riding on a road in Mont-Orford Provincial Park in the Eastern Townships on Sunday when he hit a pothole and crashed.

On his Facebook page, he thanked several passersby who called an ambulance and alerted his family that he was hurt. Mr. Péladeau apparently had the presence of mind to relay the number of his wife, entertainer Julie Snyder. The couple are formally separated but maintain cordial relations.

"The fact he remembered my number is a good sign," Ms. Snyder wrote on her Facebook page. "Fortunately he was wearing a helmet. It saved his life."

For his part, Mr. Péladeau vowed he will roll into the National Assembly as soon as possible.

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About the Author
National correspondent

Les Perreaux joined the Montreal bureau of the Globe and Mail in 2008. He previously worked for the Canadian Press covering national and international affairs, including federal and Quebec politics and the war in Afghanistan. More

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