Robert Wickens
IndyCar

Robert Wickens vows to walk again, further clarifies his paralysis

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Robert Wickens knows he has a long road ahead of him after being rendered a paraplegic from injuries sustained in a horrific crash early in the ABC Supply 500 IndyCar race August 19 at Pocono Raceway.

The 29-year-old Canadian driver also knows the strong concern from his fans, media and the IndyCar community and how supportive they are for his recovery, rehabilitation and well-being.

Wickens publicly revealed for the first time late Thursday night on his Instagram account the extent of the spinal cord injury he suffered in the race, admitting he is a paraplegic, paralyzed from his chest down.

MORE: IndyCar: Robert Wickens reveals he’s paralyzed from vicious August crash

But Wickens is not letting his present condition impact his optimism for a better future condition.

One day after his Instagram post, Wickens took to Twitter to give further clarification on what he’s going through and what the future potentially holds.

Wickens vows in his lengthy tweet to walk again:

So we cannot tell you a definitive answer if I will walk again. But I have full intentions of doing just that.

Here’s the full text from Wickens’ most recent tweet:

“I just wanted to clarify a few things. There seems to be some confusion about what the word ‘paraplegic’ really means. Please read my statement below. Thank you all for your amazing support! You’re all a big part in helping me get back on my feet!

“There was no ‘announcement’ to confirm I was paralyzed. I’ve been paralyzed the moment I hit the fence pole in Pocono. We were very clear that I had a spinal cord injury in the press release issued by SPM (Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports), but I guess people are not aware of what that means and are just speculating.

“Paralyzed & paraplegic are paralysis from the level of injury on the lower half. I’m paralyzed from the chest down. The level of my injury which is T4.

“People may not be paraplegics forever. Since my spinal cord injury was ‘incomplete’ the nerves may be able to find a way back to my legs. Incomplete means the spinal cord was not severed, it was only bruised. In months time the swelling will go down and we will learn more on how much nerve regeneration happens.

“The doctors have told us every SCI (spinal cord injury) is different. Two people with the same injury may heal differently. One may walk again and one may not. Each body heals differently. So we cannot tell you a definitive answer if I will walk again. But I have full intentions of doing just that.

“The good news is, I already have most feeling and some movement back in my legs, so there is hope over the course of 24 months that I may regain enough movement to walk again! So far the signs are promising, but I’m trying not to get ahead of myself! I am just keeping my head down and working until my therapist and doctors tell me to stop!

“Thank you for all your support! And I hope this has brought some clarity on all of this.

“PS – Sorry for the long read.”

Here is Wickens’ actual tweet:

Wickens was injured when his race car touched wheels with the car of Ryan Hunter-Reay. The impact sent Wickens’ Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda airborne and into the Turn 2 catchfence at Pocono Raceway.

Wickens’ car bounced off the fencing, spun several times in mid-air before landing on the racetrack, and ultimately came to rest against the interior retaining wall.

After a lengthy and careful extrication process, Wickens was airlifted to Lehigh Valley – Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Upon examination, it was determined Wickens had suffered a spinal cord injury, thoracic spinal fracture, neck fracture, tibia and fibula fractures to both legs, four broken ribs, a broken right forearm, a broken elbow, fractures in both hands and a pulmonary contusion.

Wickens remained in the Allentown hospital for nearly two weeks before being moved to a hospital in Indianapolis. At both hospitals, he underwent several surgeries to treat his injuries.

He subsequently was moved to a rehabilitation facility near the Indianapolis hospital, and according to The Associated Press on Friday, has recently been relocated to another rehab facility in Colorado.

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Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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