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  1. #1

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    Amy Van Dyken severely injured in ATV accident

    It looks like her spine has been severed at the level of about mid-back.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...dent/10246787/
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  2. #2

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    Excerpt from the USA Today article above:
    Amy Van Dyken Rouen, a six-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer, is hospitalized in an intensive-care unit in Scottsdale after suffering injuries in an all-terrain vehicle accident.
    ...
    A letter from the Van Dyken and Rouen families said she severed her spinal cord at the T11 vertebrae and that the broken vertebrae came within millimeters of rupturing her aorta.


    AP article: http://espn.go.com/olympics/swimming...pine-atv-crash
    Last edited by Sylvia; 06-09-2014 at 10:41 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  3. #3
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    A witness saw Van Dyken Rouen drive an ATV through a parking lot and "launch over" a curb. She was not wearing a helmet.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    A helmet would make no difference here. She'd still be paralyzed and she's apparently mentally fine (ie no TBI.) The question is why was she driving at speed over something that caused a rollover? Even four-wheelers have stability issues and aren't supposed to be operated at high speed over bumpy or uneven terrain.

  5. #5
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    She's really lucky that not wearing a helmet didn't make a difference in this case. As bad as it is, it could have been even worse.

    I had a friend tell me recently that the worst issues he's had on his ATV was when he was driving over a road to an off-road site. The change in the ground really messes up the traction, even though you'd think asphalt would be safe. Those vehicles can be really dangerous. I think the point of the story was he installed a roll-cage on his.


    My guess, is whatever she was driving over, she didn't realize it would be a problem to go over it at speed. People speed these things over all kinds of obstacles. Was she a real experienced ATV driver? It says she "launched over a curb". I wonder if she did it because she thought the bump could be fun, or if she lost control and hit the curb.

    I hope she has a strong recovery. Reading these reports always freak me out, because I had a -thisclose- accident that I recovered from, but could have left me quadriplegic.
    T11 is low enough she might not lose much core strength. Because she is an athlete, she has a strong chance that physical therapy could bring that back to an almost perfect level, even if there was some initial damage. At that level, she likely doesn't have arm impairment, and again, being an athlete means she'll have the upper body strength that she will easily be able to transfer herself, and load her own wheelchair into a car. Those things really help you live independently. Hopefully she'll have bladder/bowel control- sometimes you do at that level, sometimes you don't.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    She's really lucky that not wearing a helmet didn't make a difference in this case. As bad as it is, it could have been even worse.
    Exactly, that's why I said .

    Very, very stupid to get on a motorized cycle and not take any safety precautions in the way one operates the machine and the way one dresses for the activity.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    Exactly, that's why I said .
    I was agreeing with the general sentiment you expressed with emoticons. "Huh?" and a faceslap really don't articulate well.

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    Police said her husband, Rouen, had recently switched the throttle mechanism on the ATV from a thumb accelerator to a twist accelerator and did not know whether that was a factor in the accident.

    WOW, just wow.

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    Good luck to her and hope she makes a speedy recovery.

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    UPDATE article: http://www.azcentral.com/story/sport...enge/10763903/
    After an all-terrain vehicle accident June 6 in Show Low, Van Dyken-Rouen was taken by air-vac to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, where she underwent surgery June 7 and has remained until departing Wednesday for her native Colorado.
    ...
    Tumialan provided a detailed description of Van Dyken-Rouen's injuries that included showing photos of the fracture dislocation in her spine before and after surgery.

    "We were up against two things," Tumialan said. "The potential for a significant (life-threatening) vascular injury with the repair itself as well as an unrepairable cerebral spinal fluid leak. She also had the injury to the spinal cord.

    "I have to tell a patient that is going to be exposed to all these risks is that we're going to do this operation and it's not expected to return any function or sensation to the lower extremities. We have to do this to put your spine into an alignment that would be sustainable in a seated position. She looked at me with fortitude, nodded her head and said 'Doc, go do it.'"

    He aligned her spine and connected it with rods through fusion.
    ...
    "In the hours after her operation, she woke up and was smiling," Tumialan said. "She wasn't smiling because it was easy. She was smiling because of the fortitude of her inner person, something which I haven't seen in the 14 years I've been doing this. She has literally walked through hell with a smile on her face."
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  11. #11
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    It must be terrifying to knowingly go into surgery of that magnitude. I really wish her success in her recovery. It's so good to see her have such a positive attitude towards such a horrible situation.

  12. #12

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    CBS Evening News segment on Van Dyken's ongoing rehab.:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/amy-van-...spinal-injury/
    She hopes to walk one day.

    "I remember my old life and I remember being able to walk and run and wear high heels and be fabulous. But you know what? I can still wear high heels in this chair. They just won't hurt my feet," she says. "I will still be fabulous."
    CBS Denver news story: http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/07/1...e-for-granted/

    http://www.9news.com/story/sports/ol...xors/12646187/
    She has started her rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, working from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. every day to strengthen her body.

    She has experienced some sporadic sensation below her belly button since the surgery, giving her hope she may regain some feeling in her legs. Her goal is to walk out of the hospital in August.
    She has an amazingly positive attitude!
    Last edited by Sylvia; 07-15-2014 at 06:52 AM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  13. #13
    Cruder than you thought
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    Thanks for the links/updates Sylvia. She does seem like a completely amazing, positive person. It's great that she's had at least tiny signs of hope in terms of returning function. If anyone can exceed what you'd expect in terms of her recovery, it seems like she will.

    “It has to be fun. This is my new life. I have no other choice,” she said.
    This really says it all.
    Disclaimer: The post contained herein represents the opinions of a fan and may or may not bear any relation to reality.

  14. #14
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    Wishing her all the best. Her attitude is truly inspirational.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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