Ex-Olympian severs spine
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken severed her spinal cord in an all-terrain vehicle accident over the weekend, and she told emergency workers she could not move her toes or feel anything touching her legs.
The 41-year-old swimmer, who goes by her married name Amy Van Dyken Rouen, was injured Friday. She was airlifted to a hospital and had surgery to stabilize her spine.
Hospital spokeswoman Alice Giedraitis didn’t provide details on Rouen’s injuries. She said the swimmer was in good condition.
A letter from the Van Dyken and Rouen families said she severed her spinal cord at the T11 vertebrae and that the broken vertebrae came within millimeters of rupturing her aorta.