PHOENIX — Former Olympics swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen was paralyzed after an accident while off-roading near Show Low on Friday.
Van Dyken-Rouen, 41, was hurt while riding an all-terrain vehicle in an area called Torreon. She was then flown to a hospital in Scottsdale, where she was in intensive care after severing her spinal cord.
On Monday swimmingworldmagazine.com released a statement from the families.
Dear Friends and Family,
On Friday night our sister, daughter, and wife, Amy Van Dyken Rouen, was emergency airlifted to Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center after an ATV accident in Show Low, AZ. Her husband, Tom, 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. 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. 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.
Amy has a long, trying road ahead of her, but as anyone who knows her can attest, her unparalleled mental strength and determination will propel her. She is a fighter. Amy has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles before, winning 6 Olympic gold medals and becoming one of the greatest female athletes of her generation despite battling lifelong chronic asthma. Now this is her new challenge, her new battle. With the unconditional love and support of her friends, family and fans, Amy welcomes the challenges she will face as she opens this new chapter of her life.
Please keep Amy in your thoughts and prayers.
The Van Dyken and Rouen families
On Sunday she sent a tweet from Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center.
Never get us all together anymore. This is amazing. I have the best family. http://t.co/4ukVECtFow
— Amy Van Dyken-Rouen (@amyvandyken) June 8, 2014
A witness at a nearby restaurant told police that he heard Van Dyken-Rouen start up the four-wheeler and saw her head toward the golf cart path.
He then saw her hit a curb and go airborne toward an area with a 7-foot drop. After a lengthy search, officers found Van Dyken-Rouen on the ground and struggling to breathe, the report said. She told first responders she couldn’t feel her legs or move her toes and she had pain in her back.
The six-time gold-medal winner also posted a picture to her Instagram account drawn by her niece and nephew to cheer her up. She used the hashtag “hospitalsSuck.”
A Google Maps search found an approximate image of the crash site.
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.