Olympic swimming champion Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, who suffered traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries earlier this month, is smiling, talking, and trading her Arizona hospital bed for one in Colorado.
“I am now off to Denver, Colorado, to Craig Hospital to begin the next chapter in my life, doing some rehabilitation. So I will keep everyone updated on my Instagram and Twitter as always,” Van Dyken-Rouen, 41, told NBC's Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie in a brief video on Wednesday’s "Today" broadcast.
The six-time gold medalist has been keeping her Twitter and Instagram followers informed of her condition every step of the way. On Tuesday, she posted an Instagram photograph of the surgical incision on her back. “Healing fast! #PrayersAreWorking,” she wrote in the caption.
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“I just want to thank you guys and everyone who watches the 'Today' show for all of your support, all of your prayers and your positive vibes. It’s definitely helping,” Van Dyken-Rouen said on "Today."
Van Dyken-Rouen suffered an ATV accident on June 6 that severed her spine and nearly ruptured her aorta. She has been in treatment at Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center in Arizona, but is transferring to Denver’s Craig Hospital, which specializes in spinal-cord injuries, The Washington Post reported.
Before departing Scottsdale, Van Dyken-Rouen brought the balloons she was given to patients in the Intensive Care Unit. She gave her surgeon’s daughter a special Hello Kitty balloon for the girl's birthday.
On Monday, Van Dyken-Rouen posted a photo to Instagram of her husband, former Denver Bronco's punter Tom Rouen, and her yellow labrador Kuma keeping her company in the hospital.
Van Dyken took home four Olympic gold medals in the 1996 Atlanta games, and two more at the Sydney games in 2000.