Neurosurgeon says long road for injured Valley Olympian - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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Neurosurgeon says long, but possible road for injured valley Olympian

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Amy Van Dyken Amy Van Dyken
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A Valley neurosurgeon says it's a long, but hopeful road for Amy Van Dyken, the six-time gold medal Olympian who severed her spine.

"Every patient with a spinal cord injury is different and needs to be treated differently with the problem," said Dr. Nicholas Theodore with Barrow Neurological Associates. Theodore is not treating Van Dyken.

The 41-year-old Olympian severed her spine Friday in an ATV accident in Show Low, and was immediately rushed to Scottsdale Osborne hospital for surgery. 

"She was taken care of quickly. The accident was witnessed, 911 was called immediately. She was airlifted to a level one trauma center," said Theodore, pointing out the positive factors that could lead to some sort of recovery.

"In her case, (she is) a very high-end athlete. (She is) young, ostensibly otherwise healthy. (She) has a much greater chance (of some type of recovery) than say if this injury occurred in a 90-year-old person with multiple medical problems," Theodore said.

Van Dyken is in good condition at Scottsdale Osborne Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman Alice Giedraitis said.

"Amy and her family appreciate the outpouring of well wishes and support in her recovery," Giedraitis said.

Van Dyken has been posting updates on her condition on her Twitter account. On Tuesday, she posted: "Doing great today. My room is the most decorated in ICU. Thx for ur thoughts & prayers!"

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