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Amy Van Dyken

SPINAL CORD 'COMPLETELY SEVERED'

6/9/2014 1:10 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

Amy Van Dyken Spinal CordOlympic swimming legend Amy Van Dyken severed her spinal cord in her ATV accident this weekend -- and doctors performed emergency surgery to repair her spine ... this according to her family. 

According to a witness, Van Dyken "launched" over a curb Friday afternoon in an ATV area in Arizona known as Torreon ... and plummeted 5 to 7 feet ... before crashing into the ground. 

Paramedics raced to the scene and found Amy conscious but unable to move her toes or her feet. She also could not feel anything touching her legs. 

According to the crash report, obtained by TMZ Sports, Amy's husband told officials Amy was NOT consuming any alcohol that evening. 

Her husband, Thomas Rouen, also told officials "just a couple days prior he had switched the throttle mechanism on the ATV from a thumb accelerator to a twist accelerator. [He] was unsure if that may have caused a problem in how Amy was used to operating the ATV."

The report notes Amy was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. 

Now, Amy's family has released a statement saying her husband Tom was by her side when a helicopter arrived to transport her to a hospital in Scottsdale where "an amazing team of doctors performed emergency surgery to repair her spine and stabilize her."

The family says, "Amy's spinal cord was completely severed at the T11 vertebrae, but, miraculously, a broken vertebrae stopped within millimeters of rupturing her aorta, and she did not suffer any head trauma."

"Amy awoke within hours of surgery acting like her typical spunky, boisterous, ebullient self and has spent the last 24 hours entertaining her family and her medical staff in the ICU. She has made at least one male nurse blush. Amy's attitude has been overwhelmingly positive and optimistic. She has been far more of a comfort to us than we have been to her."

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
16 COMMENTS

No Avatar

1.

Dale    

And to show their genuine concern, TMZ is frantically searching for a video of the accident to post online.

101 days ago
2.

Calinative    

hope she makes a great recovery.

101 days ago
3.

Kartrashian Klown    

Those things are dangerous. A neighbor down the street some years ago got crushed and died riding one of those things. His corpse was all bruised up. Use extreme caution when riding an ATV! The fact she wore no helmet was most certainly a death wish...she's lucky she survived.

101 days ago
4.

CJ    

I don't see the allure of those things and I know at least two people who have died on those. Get a danged bicycle people!

101 days ago
5.

getitin     

I take it she is paralyzed from the waist down forever?

101 days ago
6.

FREEDOM    

ATVS ARE DEATH TRAPS. YOU TAKE THAT CHANCE EVERY TIME YOUR ON ONE.

101 days ago
7.

palermo    

So many accidents on those stupid things, very dangerous

101 days ago
8.

Bridget    

She came to visit my school when I was a kid. She was really nice. And answered all our questions with a smile. Nothing but the best of wishes to her.

101 days ago
9.

Yurra Knutz    

DAMN!

101 days ago
10.

mdell27    

I guess I am confused, I thought spinal cord injuries were perm.

86 days ago
11.

John    

Thrills lead to spills kids!
the tv advertisements make it look like so much fun, $$$

76 days ago

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