Sam Willoughby Update

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Sam Willoughby Update

Postby bnd » Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:02 am

This is taken off of


**NEW Details Friday – Update below** Ever since Sam Willoughby had his accident at Chula Vista BMX on September 10, the BMX community around the world has been on pins and needles, waiting for any new on his condition, and his prognosis for the future. In the hours following the accident, and as previously reported here on News, Sam underwent surgery on his neck and back in San Diego. The waiting game over those 12 days was necessary to evaluate his condition after the post-operative swelling and inflammation subsided.

Early on Thursday, a major update on his condition was released, via a newly-created page on (link below). The information there is shocking, but also encouraging, as Sam will now move from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility in Colorado–signaling that immediate medical jeopardy is not as much a concern, and all efforts can shift to the next phase of his recovery. Here’s what that report said:

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 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.

Sam’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. 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.

Sam’s fiancé, Alise Post added, via Facebook:

Thank you for your patience in awaiting an update on @swilloughby91_ condition. @cyclingaustralia has released an official statement and the link to Sam’s support page is in my bio. Sam is the toughest man I know, and we are so ready to move forward and take on the #road2recovery. Thank you for your continued support, it means the world!!! is a website tool we have seen used before in other cases of long-haul recovery. It is a great way for friends and well-wishers to keep current on progress, and also for the subject of the page to keep current on comments and messages of support in one central location, often over many years.

BMX legend, Eddy King, who was seriously injured in a mountain biking accident in 2013, resulting in temporary paralysis, has reportedly been in touch with Sam, and will be a valuable friend and mentor as SW91 progresses in his own recovery. Since his accident and surgeries, Eddy had made remarkable strides–literally; he is now back on two feet and attacking his physical therapy in the gym.

As Alise noted in her comments, the continued prayers and messages of support mean the world to our friend, and we must keep those flowing-in. Please visit Sam’s page at the link below.

—Mike Carruth

Top Photo: Sam gets a hospital visit from his dog, Mila.

Update Friday, Sept 23, 5AM, PDT
Ride BMX took over the NORA Cup (Number One Rider Award) long ago. In recent years, they dropped racer from the roster, but brought it back this year. The cup is generally awarded at a raucous party on Thursday evening of Interbike, and this year was no different. When the nominees were read, and the winner revealed, it was Sam Willoughby who got the nod as 2016 NORA Cup Racer. Accepting the award for Sam were Alise Post, Tyler Brown and Nic Long.

Here is a video of the acceptance speech, posted to Facebook by Marco Dellisola–director of the Stay Strong brand.


Sam Willoughby’s Page

Statement by Cycling Australia on Sam’s Condition (09/22/16)

Read more at ... E1yoc4d.99

“Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands.”

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