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Amy Van Dyken-Rouen: Severed spine is ‘not a death sentence,’ working at walking again

LISTEN: Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, Olympic Swimmer

Six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen made national headlines after she suffered an accident in northern Arizona six weeks ago.

She severed her spine in an all-terrain vehicle accident, and was airlifted to a Scottsdale hospital where she had surgery to stabilize her spine.

Her recovery has been nothing short of inspiring and uplifting for those who have followed her story. She hasn’t had moments of grief, but has taken a positive outlook on the situation.

“I was wondering more of what happened more than anything … the way I look at it is, this is a new part of my life, and I’m here at a great hospital in Colorado just walking it out, learning how to live it,” she told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7FM.

Being a great-spirited athlete, Van Dyken-Rouen is focused on the future and what is ahead for her. Her positive attitude has led her to be active again by going Kayaking a few days ago.

“It’s not a death sentence. I was told a couple of times that I was going to die, and I didn’t. I’m here, so let’s rock it out and be happy,” she said.

Her ultimate goal is to walk out of the Colorado hospital on her own.

“I may not be able to walk under my own power or be able to feel my legs, but I can walk using braces so that for me would be a victory.”

Van Dyken-Rouen has received unconditional support from fans through Twitter as she continues to spread her optimism.

“The fact that [my story] is touching people is overwhelming. I can’t believe how much impact this had on people and I’m so thankful for all the support from everybody, it really is great.”

She said the responses have been extremely uplifting. The thoughts and prayers have been heard, and she feels thankful to be where she is now.

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