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

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 © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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