SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Six-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is still paralyzed a week after severing her spinal cord in an all-terrain vehicle accident, though doctors are not sure if it will be permanent.
Van Dyken-Rouen has been active on social media since her June 6 accident and on Friday used a post on Twitter to refute a report about her condition. She had another on Instagram saying she will not require more surgery.
I just heard a rumor that I'm not paralyzed anymore.Sorry 2 say,it is NOT true. Please don't listen to misinformation. Sorry some1 said that
Van Dyken-Rouen was injured when the ATV she was driving near Show Low, Arizona, hit a curb and launched her over a drop-off. She told emergency workers she was unable to wiggle her toes or feel anything touching her legs before being airlifted to a Scottsdale hospital. Van Dyken-Rouen’s family said she severed her spinal cord at the T11 vertebrae and that a broken fragment came within millimeters of rupturing her aorta.
Hospital spokeswoman Alice Giedraitis said Van Dyken-Rouen remained in good condition on Friday.
Her husband, former Denver Broncos punter Tom Rouen, told the Denver Post that the family was unsure if she would remain paralyzed and that she would rehabilitate in suburban Denver at Craig Hospital, which specializes in spinal cord injuries.
Van Dyken-Rouen thought she might require more surgery before starting rehab, but posted a photo of herself with a celebratory bowl of cereal Friday on Instagram.
"Happy Friday!" she said. "No more surgeries for this girl, so I celebrate with Froot Loops."
Van Dyken-Rouen was a star at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, becoming the first American woman to win four gold medals in a single games. She won two more golds four years later in Sydney before retiring from competition.