Wickens medical update, family reveals extent of injuries
Robert Wickens has undergone surgeries for his legs and hands, but his family has also decided to list the full injury toll from his huge accident at Pocono Raceway last month.
Wickens was last week transferred from Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pennsylvania to the IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, and the legs and hands surgeries for the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver are described in the team’s official statement as being “completed without complication.”
The statement continues: “Wickens is expected to be transferred to a rehabilitation center in the coming days to begin the recovery process. The severity of the spinal cord injury he sustained in the incident remains indeterminate and under evaluation. Physicians stress it could take weeks or months for the full effects of the injury to be known.
The Wickens family stated: “We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love, prayers and positive energy that has been sent our way since Robert’s accident. We are blown away by the strength of this IndyCar community and the support within it. While Robert’s recovery and rehabilitation continue over the coming weeks and months, your loving messages will certainly be a source of encouragement for him."
However, the family also decided to reveal the full extent of Wickens’ injuries to avoid speculation and correct those who apparently played it down.
"As unverified sources immediately following Robert's accident inaccurately and without permission portrayed his condition as less than severe,” read the statement, “in an effort to remain transparent and open, we are providing a list of Robert’s injuries to truly showcase the severity of what our son / brother / fiancé / friend / teammate has gone through and will be recovering from in the months to come.”
Among the injuries Wickens sustained were:
- Thoracic spinal fracture
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck fracture
- Tibia and fibula fractures to both legs
- Fractures in both hands
- Fractured right forearm
- Fractured elbow
- Four fractured ribs
- Pulmonary contusion
Team co-owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson added: “The IndyCar community has been nothing but supportive the last few weeks. We are grateful for their support as well as the exceptional care given to Robert by the AMR IndyCar Safety Team, the IndyCar Medical Staff, the surgeons and nursing staff at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest and everyone at IU Health Methodist Hospital.
“While Robert continues his recovery, we want to make it clear that the #6 entry is for Robert Wickens and him only. No matter the amount of time it takes for his full recovery, we will hold that seat for him.
“Carlos Munoz, the named driver for the last two events on the 2018 calendar is doing a great job for us to keep the #6 owner championship points alive, and we very much appreciate all the hard work he’s putting into helping us finish the season.
“The road to Robert’s recovery will be a long and tough one, but we hope you’ll be alongside us cheering him on. BETTER. STRONGER. FASTER.”
The SPM statement concluded: “An update will be provided when Wickens has been transferred to his rehabilitation facility. Further updates will come from Wickens.
"Alongside the team, he will document his recovery process and share updates at appropriate times. SPM, the Wickens family and Robert ask everyone to respect their request for privacy at this time.”
So strong were Wickens' performances in IndyCar that even in his absence, he wrapped up the Rookie of the Year title one race early, in Portland last weekend. He currently lies seventh in the championship, despite not even starting the previous two races.
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