Prince Johan Friso may never regain consciousness after being buried under an avalanche.
Doctors have said Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands may never regain consciousness after a skiing accident during which he was buried under an avalanche.
During a press conference on Friday officials revealed he was trapped under the snow for 25 minutes. It took a further 50 minutes for him to be resuscitated.
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An MRI scan was performed on Thursday, which indicated the prince suffered large amounts of brain damage due to lack of oxygen.
Doctors cannot say when the prince will come out of his coma, if at all. It may be months or even years.
The royal family are now looking for a rehabilitation centre where he can receive further treatment.
The accident happened last Friday while he was skiing off piste in the Austrian resort of Lech – where the Dutch royals traditionally take their winter break.
A childhood friend, who was with him at the time, survived because he was wearing avalanche airbag.
Florian Moosbrugger, reportedly dug his friend out with his own hands and called the emergency services, the Austrian Times reports.
He was questioned by police about which of the skiers went down the slope first, and how the avalanche began.
The 43-year-old prince has been unconscious and fighting for his life ever since he was airlifted to safety.
Friso is the second son of the reigning Queen Beatrix and her late husband Prince Claus.
He has no claims on the Dutch throne after giving up his place in the line of succession to marry his wife Princess Mabel, now 43.
Parliament refused to approve the match after she admitted misleading the government about her alleged relationship with underworld boss Klaas Bruinsma – a well known figure in drug trade.
The couple married in 2004 and have two daughters – Luana, seven, and six-year-old Zaria.
Businessman Johan currently works as a Chief Financial Officer for a uranium enrichment company called URENCO.
He studied mechanical engineering at the University of California and also has a degree in economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam and an MBA from the European Institute of Business Administration.