A letter released by the the gold medalist’s family stated that her T11 vertebrae was completely severed in the accident and stopped just short of hitting the aorta. She reportedly told emergency responders that she was not able to feel her legs after the accident, but it was not clear whether she was paralyzed. The family’s letter said that the recovery would be a “long, trying road” and praised Dyken-Rouen for her “strength and determination.”
Spinal cord injuries can be one of the most devastating types of injuries and can mean multiple surgeries, months of rehabilitative therapy and lifelong complications. When a spinal cord injury is the result of a car accident caused by a negligent driver, a slip and fall or a product defect, victims may be able to file suit against the at-fault party in an attempt to get monetary compensation for medical bills and equipment, pain and suffering and/or lost income.