IRL: Davey Hamilton medical update 11-02-01

Hamilton Takes Steps Toward Holiday Goals INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Nov. 2, 2001 - Indy Racing League driver Davey Hamilton wants to walk by Christmas. Thanksgiving would be even better. On Halloween, he took a major step toward that goal. For the...

Hamilton Takes Steps Toward Holiday Goals

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Nov. 2, 2001 - Indy Racing League driver Davey Hamilton wants to walk by Christmas. Thanksgiving would be even better.

On Halloween, he took a major step toward that goal. For the first time in 144 days, he stood up. He followed that feat by walking with the assistance of parallel bars and a walker.

"Wednesday was my first day of rehab," said Hamilton. "They gave me a walker, and I went for a couple of laps around the office, probably 100 feet. It felt good. I wasn't dizzy or anything. My balance is good. I'm by myself. They don't hold onto me."

Hamilton, from Eagle, Idaho, suffered severe injuries to his legs and feet in a crash during the Casino Magic 500 on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Getting out of a chair for the first time in five months was exhilarating, he said.

"Before this happened I was going 100 miles an hour every day. Then it came to a stop," Hamilton said. "It was a big accomplishment to stand up on my own and get weight on my foot. It was a big step. We are closer to getting back to walking again."

At first look, doctors thought they might be forced to amputate both feet. But after numerous surgeries - more than Hamilton says he can remember - Dr. Kevin Scheid and his team of orthopedic specialists have rebuilt Hamilton's feet, giving the driver new hope.

"The healing on the right leg and foot reached a point where we are allowing him to begin doing some walking on that side," said Scheid. "It is as soon as we ever dreamed of.

"The bone healing on the left foot and ankle is not at a point where we are comfortable with letting him walk on that side. He may do some walking on the left foot in two to three months."

Hamilton plans to defy odds and continue to recover ahead of schedule.

"I want to be on crutches all the time and be out of the wheelchair by Christmas," he said. "Hopefully by Thanksgiving I'll be able to use crutches in short distances, maybe be on them temporarily." All cards and letters should be directed to: <pre> Davey Hamilton Indy Racing League 4565 W. 16th St. Indianapolis, IN 46222

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Davey Hamilton