Robert Wickens reveals his paralysis in latest health update

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Robert Wickens (CAN), Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series, Mid-Ohio
Credit: Joe Skibinski / Courtesy of IndyCar

Verizon IndyCar Series driver Robert Wickens has revealed that he is paralysed following his accident at Pocono Raceway back in August. The Canadian revealed the full extent of his injuries in his latest health update which he shared on social media.

In a post uploaded to Instagram yesterday, Wickens can be seen completing his first “slide transfer”, moving from his bed to a wheelchair. Wickens stated that he was a paraplegic and admitted that he was a long way away from being able to walk on his own.

“Did my first slide transfer as a paraplegic today.” Robert’s post read. “My upper body is getting stronger and stronger and hopefully, I’ll be able to do it unassisted soon.”

Robert went on to say that the purpose of his update was to address the confusion amongst fans and the media as to the severity of his injuries.

“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.” Wickens continued, “Some people are a bit confused with the severity of my injury, so I wanted to 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.”

Wickens’ injuries were sustained in a massive wreck early on in the 2018 ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway two months ago. He and Ryan Hunter-Reay made contact heading into turn two, with the contact sending Wickens flying off of the race track and into the perimeter catch-fencing.

Wickens was airlifted to hospital from the race track and it was announced fairly quickly that the Canadian had suffered a number of injuries. Robert broke his neck, both legs and hands, his right arm, several ribs and more in the accident. It was also announced that he had suffered a spinal injury, which he underwent numerous surgeries for, but the extent of this injury has not been known in its entirety until now.

There is no way to tell quite how long it will take Robert to recover from his extensive injuries, however, his team, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports‘ have already promised that they will have a car waiting for him as soon as he is able to get back behind the wheel.

Robert stated before in a previous social media updated that he knew that it was “going to be a very long road to recovery” but that he was determined to “work as hard as possible” to get back to racing.

“I don’t know what the future holds for me.” Wickens stated in his first update last month, “It’s going to be a very long road to recovery, and all I can is I’m going to promise you guys I’m going to work as hard as possible and train as hard as possible to make sure I’m back in a race car as quickly as possible. That’s all I can say for now.”

Everybody here at The Checkered Flag continues to wish Robert a fast and full recovery. We look forward to seeing him back on the race track as soon as he is able to.

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Reporter from the East of England. Covering the NTT IndyCar Series for The Checkered Flag. Also an eSports racing driver on iRacing.
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