BREAKING: OFFICIAL UPDATE ON SAM WILLOUGHBY

Early this morning an official update from Sam’s parents and fiance Alise Post started making waves around the social media spectrum. Since the accident, BMXers from around the globe have been vigorously searching for answers. While many have felt left in the dark, the stark reality is that an injury like Sams takes time to create a full prognosis. Of course we are all waiting….praying, that one of the best men to ever load into the gate will pull through this like your run of the mill injury. While we will all remain praying, we now at least know where the next steps will be taken…

Here is the official statement from Cycling Australia and Sam’s team….

“On Sept 10, 2016, Sam had a training accident on the local Chula Vista BMX track where he was airlifted to the hospital and operated on that evening due to sustaining fractures in his C6 and C7 vertebrae which severely compressed his spinal cord and left him with no movement below his chest. The operation involved removing his C6 vertebrae, replacing it with a titanium cage, and fusing his C5-C7 vertebrae with a plate and 4 screws. Fortunately, this surgery was successful enough at decompressing his spinal cord and aligning his vertebrae that a second operation for further stabilization was not necessary.

At this stage, Sam still has no movement from his chest down but has regained use of his arms and is slowly regaining some sensation in his legs. Sam’s next step is to begin a long road of recovery at a rehabilitation center and while the details are still to be finalized, at this stage it is expected that Sam will be transported to a USA based rehabilitation center in the next few days.

The huge outpouring of support from friends, family, fans and supporters has been incredible and many of you have already asked how you can provide assistance to Sam in some way to ensure he has access to the best possible rehabilitation treatment.

As a result we have set up this portal www.road2recovery.com/strengthfor91 where you can offer support, both through financial assistance and messages for Sam, and can also keep up to date with Sam’s progress. Any donation, great or small, and any message of support will assist in Sam remaining strong throughout his road to recovery.”

For me, it confirmed many of the speculations I had. I feel like many who have been close to the situation feel similar. While there will clearly be no immediate recovery for SW91, we can all let out a sigh of relief that hope is there and we can all continue to support Sam, Alise, and the entire family as recovery begins.

It becomes seemingly more difficult to keep my personal feelings on the sidelines here. I consider Sam a good friend of mine and over the last few years I cannot begin to tell you how many images I have taken of this superstar. You would be hard pressed to find a more stand out human being. Sam is without a doubt one of the most magnificent people I have had the opportunity to spend time with. A true friend that is one of the strongest fighters out there. Every time he has faced adversity he has rebounded to come out on top. I continue to tell myself that this is the one guy who can hit this recovery right in the mouth and overcome the obstacles that have been set before him.

In the end, we all need to continue to support Sam and the entire family. I urge you all to not lose hope and continue to push out your support. I know it is helping him and giving him just another reason to overcome this valley. The link in the article will take you to the support page created to help aide in many of the medical expenses. You can also post your well wishes directly to the page. Let us all continue to have strength for 91….

 

#Strengthfor91

 

Photo: Derek Betcher
Photos: Derek Betcher