Van Dyken Sends Smiles, Thanks on Instagram After Spine-Severing Accident

Olympic champion swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is turning to social media to thank fans and friends for support as she recovers from an accident that left her with a severed spine.

The six-time gold medalist, who was injured Friday when an all-terrain vehicle she was driving hit a curb, posted several photos to Instagram on Wednesday, one of her hospital pillow, inked with her doctor’s surgical sketch, and another showing her smiling from her hospital bed, surrounded by friends from her book club.



“My amazing book club, and dear friends came for a visit. Love you ladies. #bestbookclubever,” included in the photo’s caption.

Van Dyken-Rouen posted another photo to Instagram on Wednesday, showing a sense of humor and gratitude.

“From my sisters office. Love me some stuffed animals and balloons. Starting to look like the movie 'Up' in here. #squirrel”

The swimmer, who has spent the week at the Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, tweeted on Wednesday that she will be be transported to Craig hospital near her home in Denver by Angel MedFlight sometime next week.

Van Dyken-Rouen’s main injury was to her upper back, at the T11 vertebrae. The break came millimeters from rupturing her aorta, the Van Dyken and Rouen families said in a statement they released on Monday. Her family does not know if the accident will leave her paralyzed.

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