It’s been a long journey for Amy Van Dyken-Rouen.
The former Olympic swimmer was paralyzed in June after an off-roading accident near Show Low.
Van Dyken-Rouen, 41, has since had extensive surgery and therapy. Through all of it, she has been a source of optimism and sheer will that has attracted the attention of the nation in ways even her illustrious Olympic career did not. Thousands of well-wishers constantly share their daily support on social media.
In return, she continues to spread a message of hope and resolution. Most recently, inspiration comes via a tattoo that she got on her wrist.
The ink depicts her first normal heart beat pattern after her accident encircling her wrist. The pattern rises in the shape of a Phoenix taking flight.
It’s a powerful image, and one with a ton of meaning for Van Dyken-Rouen. She too is continuing to rise and adjust to her new life of wheelchairs and ramps — and flourishing, according to photos of her on her Instagram account that show her taking assisted steps.
Van Dyken-Rouen is confident she’ll walk again, and now, with the addition of this tattoo, she’s literally wearing that confidence on her sleeve.
A Phoenix rising from the ashes, and my first normal heart beat after my accident. #loveit