Robert Wickens had to issue a statement to clear confusion spread by the media over his reference of the word ‘paraplegic’ in a tweet.
The Canadian underwent surgery following a huge crash in IndyCar’s Pocono race in August which has sidelined him from action as he faces race against time to recover and get back to doing what he loves.
Wickens has been active on social media showcasing his progress and recently tweeted a video where he referred to a word ‘paraplegic’ – it caused a bit of a stir as many websites started reporting that the driver has confirmed paralysis.
Did my first slide transfer as a paraplegic today. My upper body is getting stronger everyday. I’ve only been posting videos of the small movement in my legs, but the reality is I am far away from walking on my own. I’ve never worked harder for anything in my life. More to come!! pic.twitter.com/lMw8XJgOck
— Robert Wickens (@robertwickens) October 26, 2018
He issued an official statement to clear the confusion where he stated that the tweet wasn’t a confirmation of paralysis as it was known to be the case with the initial releases where he stated of a spinal cord injury.
The statement read: “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, but I guess people are not aware of what that means and are just speculating.
“‘Paralyzed’ and ‘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 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 can not 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 all for your support! And I hope this has brought some clarity on all of this.”