Back in August, out gay gymnast Kalon Ludvigson, America's most decorated Trampoline & Tumbling athlete in history, suffered a serious injury while training at a gymnastic camp for kids in Pennsylvania that left him paralyzed from the elbow and chest down. From USA Gymnastics:
Ludvigson, who sustained a cervical spine injury during training on
August 6, dislocated his C5 vertebrae at C6, causing spinal cord
compression. This spinal cord compression and stretch injury has left
him with multiple neurologic symptoms, many of which have shown
improvement to this point. He has movement of his upper extremities, as
well as improving sensation of upper and lower extremities. Ludvigson
is still challenged without movement to his lower extremities, and
therapy continues with the goal to further improve his fine motor skills
of his upper extremities.
A gymnastics wunderkind, Kalon first joined the US gymnastics team nine
years ago at 16, becoming the youngest member on the team. He holds 20 World Cup and World Championships Medals and set the World Record for Difficulty in 2008 and 2011.
In September, Kalon was moved to Craig Hospital, a rehabilitation center in Englewood, Colorado that
specializes in treating patients with spinal injuries. After two surgeries he has shown signs of improvement and has "begun feeling his toes, feet and legs, but he has not regained movement as of yet." While the future is uncertain for Kalon, his friends, family and supporters remain hopeful:
"We realize Kalon's friends and teammates want to know his long- and
short-term prognosis," said Dr. George Drew, USA Gymnastics trampoline
and tumbling team physician. "These types of injuries are extremely
variable, both in the amount of recovery and the time required to do so.
Kalon is in excellent physical condition and is blessed with the
support of his friends and family to take this recovery to its best
possible result. We are all very happy he is at Craig Hospital, one of
the foremost spinal injury recovery centers in the USA."
Said Kalon's coach and husband Justen Millerbernd (pictured below) of Kalon's recovery:
"Kalon is improving on a daily basis...but no major breakthroughs have happened yet. There
is still a lot of time for even a small change to happen. Kalon is
working hard and pushing through obstacles every day."
Kalon himself spoke out, thanking his supporters for their encouragement:
"I want to thank everyone for the love and support they have shown
during this difficult time," said Ludvigson. "The messages, thoughts
and prayers mean so much and is so appreciated."
Unfortunately, Kalon has had to battle not just his injury but also his
insurance. For that reason Millerbernd
has created a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for his husband's recovery. You can contribute to help Kalon HERE.
You can also watch a news report about Kalon's injury AFTER THE JUMP...
(Photos via Facebook)