On September 10th, Sam Willoughby was seriously injured while training at the Chula Vista BMX track. 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 no second operation for further stabilization was necessary.
However, trauma to the spinal cord at this extent is not an overnight recovery and leaves us with an extremely unknown prognosis. At this stage, Sam has regained use of his arms and is slowly regaining sensations in his legs, but still has no movement from his chest down. Though it has felt like eternity, this relatively quick response from his body leaves family, doctors, and specialists with high hopes for Sam’s future.
am’s next step is to be transported to CO to begin a long road to recovery with SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) specialists at a rehabilitation center there. Whether Sam inspires you by his dedication to excellence on his bike, or by his efforts to give back to others off the bike, it’s our turn to support Sam. Road2recovery.com is a portal where Sam’s friends, family and fans can stay up to date and offer financial support to Sam to ensure #strengthfor91 remains strong throughout his road to recovery.