IRL: Sam Schmidt Improving, Starts Rehabilitation

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Feb. 4, 2000 -- Sam Schmidt began his first day of rehabilitation Feb. 3 at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, as he was released from the intensive-care unit Feb. 2 after breathing for three consecutive days without ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Feb. 4, 2000 -- Sam Schmidt began his first day of rehabilitation Feb. 3 at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, as he was released from the intensive-care unit Feb. 2 after breathing for three consecutive days without assistance from a ventilator. Schmidt is expected to begin a rehabilitation program in which he will start training to walk on a treadmill while part of his body weight is supported. He is under the care of neurologist Dr. John McDonald, director of the Spinal Cord Injury Unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. The Spinal Cord Injury Program provides state-of-the-art, comprehensive medical, surgical, rehabilitative and long-term care for individuals with spinal-cord injury. For more information regarding the hospital's Spinal Cord Injury program, visit www.neuro.wustl.edu/sci on the World Wide Web. Schmidt continues to suffer from paralysis from the clavicle down due to a spinal fracture suffered in the accident during the league's Open Test in early January at Walt Disney World Speedway. But the transfer into rehabilitation is keeping his spirits positive, and he and his family are encouraged by his progress, Treadway Racing spokesperson Ruthie Culbertson said. Treadway Racing and the Schmidt family have set up The Sam Schmidt Foundation to ensure stability for the family and provide funds to support spinal-cord injury research and rehabilitation. Donations to the foundation are being accepted at:

The Sam Schmidt Foundation 6017 W. 71st St. Indianapolis, IN 46278

Please make all checks payable directly to The Sam Schmidt Foundation. An address at the hospital also has been established for fans wishing to send Schmidt a note of encouragement or comfort. Send mail to:

Sam Schmidt Attn: Public Relations Department Barnes-Jewish Hospital 1 Barnes Plaza St. Louis, MO 63110

-IRL/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sam Schmidt