On August 19, IndyCar driver Robert Wickens was involved in a devastating wreck at Pocono Raceway.
Throughout the whole hospitalization and recovery process, Wickens has remained optimistic, but on Thursday, the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver revealed via Instagram post that he has been paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the injuries he sustained during the crash.
Per Robert Wickens:
Did my first slide transfer as a paraplegic today. My upper body is getting stronger and stronger and hopefully I'll be able to do it unassisted soon. 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. Some people are a bit confused with the severity of my injury, so I wanted let you know the reality of it. I've never worked harder for anything in my life, and I am giving it all I've got to spark those nerves in my legs. ?'??
According to ESPN, Wickens suffered extensive injuries from the wreck that sent him airborne and caused his car to spin around several times before slamming into a fence. He "suffered an injury to his spinal cord as well as a thoracic spinal fracture, neck fracture, tibia and fibula fractures to both legs, four broken ribs, a broken right forearm, a broken elbow, fractures in both hands and a pulmonary contusion."
Wickens' wreck and his ensuing injuries have sent shockwaves through the racing community. Tony Stewart recently revealed that what happened at Pocono on August 19 has him seriously reconsidering his Indianapolis 500 return.
"After Robert Wickens got hurt, I don't know how excited I am about it anymore," Stewart told The Associated Press. "You watch Robert get hurt and ask yourself if it's really worth it."
"I'm not going to have an IndyCar career, so if I do it, I am going to have to put a lot of effort into it. If I do that, I'm going to be taking away from the racing I want to be doing for quite a while. So I need to reevaluate if Indy is something I really want to do."
Despite Wickens' recent Instagram post pointing to a more definitive prognosis of paralysis, a spokesperson for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports was not as definitive.
"As Robert has mentioned before, there is not a definitive prognosis from his spinal injury," the spokesperson told Autosport.
"His video simply shows where he is in his recovery process as of today."