Olympian Amy Van Dyken Rouen Severed Spine In ATV Accident, Can't Feel Legs
Amy Van Dyken, the six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer, severed her spine over the weekend in an ATV accident in Arizona.
Amy Van Dyken Severed Her Spine
Following the incident, Van Dyken told emergency workers she could not move her toes, nor could she feel anything touching her legs. She was subsequently airlifted to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center. It was later revealed by Van Dyken’s family that she’d severed her spinal cord and narrowly avoided a ruptured aorta.
"Her husband, [former NFL punter Tom Rouen], was with her at the time of the accident and bravely kept her stable until the helicopter arrived. An amazing team of doctors performed emergency surgery to repair her spine and stabilize her," the Rouen and Van Dyke families said in a letter given to Swimming World magazine. "Amy's spinal cord was completely severed at the T11 vertebrae, but, miraculously, a broken vertebrae stopped within millimeters of rupturing her aorta, and she did not suffer any head trauma.”
"Amy awoke within hours of surgery acting like her typical spunky, boisterous, ebullient self and has spent the last 24 hours entertaining her family and her medical staff in the ICU,” the families’ statement continued. “She has made at least one male nurse blush. Amy's attitude has been overwhelmingly positive and optimistic. She has been far more of a comfort to us than we have been to her."
Since she’s been hospitalized, Van Dyken has taken to Instagram, proving that she’s as positive from the hospital bed as her family has stated.
“Never get us all together anymore. This is amazing. I have the best family,” she captioned a snap of her family.
On Tuesday, Van Dyken posted a selfie next to a picture of all her balloons and gifts. “Doing great today,” the former Olympian wrote. "My room is the most decorated in ICU. Thx for ur thoughts & prayers!”
As an Olympian, Van Dyken won four gold medals in Atlanta in 1996 and two more at the Sydney Games in 2000.