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Thread: Amy Van Dyken: former Olympian suffered spinal injury.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    Oct 2002
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    Amy Van Dyken: former Olympian suffered spinal injury.

    How sad is this?
    41 year old six-time Olympic gold medalist suffered spinal injury, with numbness claimed in legs and feet, just reported tonight.
    Must check news wire on status. Shame.

  2. #2
    This was reported earlier today. ATV accident. Spinal cord completely severed at T11.

    Just awful.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tim C.'s Avatar
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    Maybe a news-reporting sensationalist yellow-journalist bullshit pet peeve of mine. And maybe my comment belongs in that other thread about "things people say" but her cord was "severed completely" ? Seriously? That quoting an exact medical doctor's report?
    Cause as I understand, as an avid but responsible little CC reader and follower of the great Wise Young "educate the world on SCI" that most instances of catastrophic injury, not involving gunshot, do not result in a fully severed spinal cord. Surprisingly, a portion of the cord is left intact. Of course I'm making no judgement on this particular person's condition. I'm just in fact hoping that there was a bit of over zeal in this reporter's report.

  4. #4
    It is very often misreported that someone's cord is severed. It rarely ever happens and hopefully that is the case here.

  5. #5
    Our local paper, more than once, has printed that someone "broke their spinal chord". Sometimes I wonder about journalism in this country...and other times I am sure...


  6. #6
    Maybe it was just a burst fracture and the bone fragments went into the cord, either way it's not good.

  7. #7
    This is the latest doctor's opinion, he is not Amy's doctor, so this is basically just what he thinks.....

    Dr. Vikas Patel, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Hospital and the chief orthopedic spine surgeon, has not seen Van-Dyken-Rouen’s injury nor consulted with her doctors, but said such an injury to the T11 vertebra is devastating.
    “The T11 is one of the vertebrae in the middle of the back, and it’s a relatively stiff and strong vertebra,” Patel said. “It means there had to have been a tremendous amount of force.”
    Patel said much recovery from such an injury is unlikely. One of the effects could be that her legs will be paralyzed, but Patel said time will tell how much she recovers. It could take weeks or months to fully understand what may or may not recover.

  8. #8
    I remember when Christopher Reeve was injured. NL and I were having dinner with business associates. One of the people at the dinner said he had heard that doctors had performed surgery and the surgery was successful which meant that everything would be okay. He actually thought that a successful surgery = complete recovery from the injury and the reversal of any paralysis that had been mentioned in news reports. By extension, I could imagine him thinking, sheesh GJ, guess your spinal reduction surgery wasn't successful, look at you.

    The thing is most people don't have a clue what a spinal cord injury is or understand anything about the prognosis. We've all heard our Mothers say, "Stop doing that or you'll break your neck." But, I bet none of us ever considered for a moment what that really meant.
    It was interesting to read that the broken vertebrae came close (within millimeters) to rupturing the aorta.

    Wishing Amy Van Dyken-Rouen a good rehabilitation so she can be all she wants and can be.

    All the best,

  9. #9

    While watching CBS Evening News tonight, I saw this feature. Talk about inaccurate!!! I wanted to scream every time they said this woman was paralyzed from a "broken or severed spine". Only ONCE was the term "spinal cord" even mentioned. Sad that they can't seem to afford a decent science/medicine educated editor for stories like this!!!
    Van Dyken-Rouen was riding in an all-terrain vehicle last Friday when she flipped down an embankment. The six-time Olympic gold medalist was airlifted to a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she underwent emergency surgery.

    Over the weekend a family member posted a statement saying, "Amy's spinal cord was completely severed at the T11 vertebra, but, miraculously, a broken vertebra stopped within millimeters of rupturing her aorta."

    The T11 vertebra is in the middle of the back. Doctors say a complete severing of the spine is rare.

    Doctors thought Dustin Shillcox's spine was completely severed after a car accident four years ago.
    They also make it sound like the cure for SCI is already here, based on Dustin Shillcox's story. This is horrible as it leads the public to believe that we don't need any more research and that a cure is already available.


  10. #10
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Chicago IL
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    I wanted to scream every time they said this woman was paralyzed from a "broken or severed spine".

    Yup. I was reading some online rag this morning with the 'severed spine' bit repeated endlessly. Then some pontification by some assclown being quoted about her 'not feeling sorry for herself' or some such bs. Journalism today...or some reporter needs to join the $15/hr burger flipper picket lines

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