IndyCar driver Robert Wickens clarifies his ‘paraplegic’ comment
Injured IndyCar Series driver Robert Wickens took to social media again on Friday to clarify his “paraplegic” comment from an Instagram post and video from the day before. Wickens stressed that although he is a paraplegic “from the chest down” it is too soon to determine if the paralysis is permanent.
Wickens also said he is slowly regaining slight voluntary muscle movement through extensive rehabilitation and his goal remains to walk again.
Wickens issued a lengthy statement at 8:47 p.m. Eastern Time Friday on Twitter:
“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!”
Wickens then posted a screen shot of his statement and acknowledged he is “paraplegic” but said he is determined to continue his rehabilitation with the goal of regaining use of his legs.
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! pic.twitter.com/hcxp4mOcCN— Robert Wickens (@robertwickens) October 27, 2018
His statement added:
“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 injured on the lower half. I’m paralyzed from the chest down. The level of my injury which is T4.”
Wickens, who was injured on August 19 in a massive crash at Pocono Raceway on Lap 7 of the ABC Supply 400, was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury when further tests were conducted on August 20 at Cedar Crest-Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Wickens concluded Friday’s statement with hope and determination that his current condition can one day dramatically improve.