Wickens clarifies “paraplegic” reference

Injured IndyCar ace Robert Wickens has explained in greater detail what he meant with his definition of himself as a 'paraplegic' in his recent posts on social media.

Wickens clarifies “paraplegic” reference

A video showing Wickens levering himself from seat to wheelchair was accompanied by text that included the sentence “Did my first slide transfer as a paraplegic today…”

However, in a post this evening, IndyCar’s Rookie of the Year stressed that he was not confirming his current paralysis is permanent.

The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports star tweeted: “I just want 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!”

The statement read as follows: “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."

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