Defying odds and expectations, Chinese gymnast Wang Yan walked out of Shanghai No. 6 People’s Hospital using her own two feet, The Shanghai Daily reported yesterday.
Wang was reportedly paralyzed after suffering fractures and dislocation of the second and third vertebrae after falling on her uneven bars dismount at the Chinese National Championships June 10 in Shanghai.
The fall knocked her unconscious, and Wang was in a coma for several days following the accident and underwent surgery June 19. International Gymnast Magazine wrote that she was later shown on Chinese television moving her left foot.
According to The Shanghai Daily, Wang has now regained almost all movement in her arms and legs.
A medical report found Wang’s communications and conceptual skills to be the same as a healthy person’s. Her right arm and fingers are fully recovered, but her left hand’s fine-movement functions have not entirely returned to normal.
Her leg muscles are now strong enough for walking, though she needs to work more to recover her full balance abilities.
Many who initially read about Wang’s injury might have likened her to Sang Lan, who was paralyzed after crashing during warmups for event finals at the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York City. Sang, who is heavily involved in her country’s preparations to host the 2008 Olympic Games, will likely remain wheelchair-bound for the rest of her life.
Hopefully, Wang ends up more like Russian Maria Zasypkina, who also fractured her vertebrae training in 2001 but recovered her mobility.
Obviously, she’s already made great strides toward that goal.