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Updated: July 25, 2019

IDEXX head Ayers faces months of spinal rehab after June accident

After a June 27 cycling accident left him partially paralyzed, Jonathan Ayers, CEO of Westbrook-based IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (Nasdaq: IDXX), said Wednesday he’s undergoing physical rehabilitation that could take up to five months.

jon ayers
Photo / Courtesy IDEXX
Jonathan Ayers, CEO of IDEXX, was seriously injured in a June 27 cycling accident.

In a statement submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ayers wrote that he sustained a severe spinal cord injury. He currently has no mobility and sensation in his legs, torso and fingers, and limited mobility and sensation in his arms and wrists.

Ayers, 63, is also chairman and president of IDEXX, which makes veterinary diagnostic and water testing products. The statement was furnished to the SEC because his accident and current medical leave from the company are considered a material event.

Ayers said the accident occurred as he was riding with his regular early-morning cycling group, but did not provide additional details. The accident caused no head trauma or brain injury, and Ayers is now being treated at “one of the very best” spinal cord rehabilitation centers in the country, he wrote.

With full-time rehab, he expects to recover “some neuromuscular capability,” but the prognosis isn’t yet clear.

“The exact nature of any rehab is unique to the individual and injury,” he wrote. “While I can’t put a precise timeline on my rehab process, based on the feedback I have received from my doctors and the rehab center staff, they currently expect my full-time rehab process to take three to five months.”

Since the accident, Executive Vice President Jay Mazelsky has been performing some of Ayers’ duties.

“I have great confidence in Jay Mazelsky as Interim President and CEO,” Ayers wrote. “He knows our markets, technologies, and innovation processes well, and is deeply respected by our employees.”

IDEXX’s stock price closed Wednesday at $285.40, down about $3 from the opening bell. Shares traded at $277.01 on July 2, the day after Ayers’ accident was announced.

IDEXX employs more than 8,000 people worldwide and serves customers in more than 175 countries. Its shares have a market value of around $23.8 billion.

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