Paralyzed Olympic swimmer: 'Be happy every day you wake up'
Posted on June 19, 2014 at 2:28 PM
Updated Thursday, Jun 19 at 2:36 PM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (CBS4) – Former Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is proving why she is a true champion.
Van Dyken, 41, was seriously injured in an ATV accident on June 6 near her Arizona home.
Before her departure for Craig Hospital in Englewood on Wednesday the former Coloradan talked with reporters from a stretcher in a Scottsdale airport hangar. She showed her positive spirit in a 12 minute conversation before boarding a medical flight.
“Be happy every day you wake up. Every day you take a breath is a blessing. I think sometimes we take it for granted,” she said. “I’m alive. I made it.”
Van Dyken says she can’t remember much about the accident that severed her spine and left her paralyzed. She said she does remember waking up to a doctor saying she had to say her goodbyes to her husband Tom Rouen, the former Denver Broncos punter.