Friends say Amy Van Dyken in good spirits - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Friends say Amy Van Dyken in good spirits

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - There are new details being released about an ATV accident that has left Olympic Gold Medalist Amy Van Dyken with a severed spine.

Since the accident over the weekend, Van Dyken has been recovering in a Scottsdale hospital.

She took to social media Tuesday to thank her fans for all her support.

"She's been doing really well considering," said Chris Parker.

To the world she's an Olympic swimmer who has won six gold medals. But Chris Parker calls her his best friend. The two co-hosted a radio show on 96.9 for years in Phoenix.

Since the accident, the two have been in constant communication.

"As anyone knows going through a situation like this, it puts someone's spirits down in the dumps, but at the moment her voice sounds great, it sounds like she's taking it all in stride the best she can," said Parker.

Van Dyken has even taken to Twitter and Instagram to thank her fans, she posted photos of her in her hospital room.

The Show Low Police Department said in a report that Van Dyken hit a curb while riding an ATV and fell down an embankment 5-7 feet below. The report also said she told first responders that she couldn't move her feet or her toes.

Van-Dyken's family say she severed her spinal cord at the T-11 vertebrae and a broken bone came within millimeters of rupturing her aorta.

"So really a spinal cord injury is really a matter of where the injury to the spinal cord occurs," said Dr. Nicolas Thodore.

Dr. Theodore is a spinal surgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute. He is not treating Van-Dyken but gave us insight into the complexity of the spinal cord.

"A spinal cord injury is always bad, but what we're left with is a few things. How severe the initial injury is and how much capacity for recovery that we have after injury, and also the level of the injury. The lower the level, the more function we have," he said.

Family, friends, and fans across the globe are hoping for her speedy recovery.

"She's got that attitude, she's a professional athlete, that was kind of her life; setting goals and working towards them. I have a strong feeling that as she goes through the range of emotions, like anybody would with this, when she does come out of this she's going to be insanely strong and insanely positive," said Parker.

The family has not released the extent of her injuries, but we're told she is in good spirits.
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