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Amy Van Dyken flown to Colorado to rehabilitate spinal-cord injury

OlympicsSwimming
Amy Van Dyken says she has no feeling from the waist down after ATV accident

Almost two weeks after severing her spinal cord in an ATV accident, six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen flew back Wednesday to her home state of Colorado to begin rehabilitation.

Van Dyken-Rouen, 41, spoke to reporters in Arizona for the first time Wednesday about her June 6 accident in which she severed her spinal cord at the T11 vertebra and broke multiple ribs.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” she told reporters before boarding a plane for Colorado. “I have no feeling from probably my pubic bone down.”

For the last 12 days, Van Dyken-Rouen had been at the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center. She was flown Wednesday to Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo.

Through social media, Van Dyken-Rouen has kept fans abreast of her recovery, evening sharing some pictures from her hospital room.  

Despite her condition, Van Dyken-Rouen and her neurosurgeon said she is optimistic about her future.

“She’s not smiling because this is easy, she’s smiling because she’s Amy Van Dyken-Rouen,” said Dr. Luis Manuel Tumialan.

Van Dyken-Rouen won six gold medals in her career, four of at the 1996 Summer Olympics. She won gold in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 400-meter freestyle relay and 400-meter medley relay.  

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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