Sept. 5, 2013 – Kalon Ludvigson of Pocatello, Idaho, recently transferred to Craig Hospital, a spinal and brain injury rehabilitation hospital in Englewood, Colo. While at Craig Hospital, Ludvigson has begun feeling his toes, feet and legs, but he has not regained movement as of yet. He is in good spirits and facing each day with the same determination and perseverance he has shown on the competition floor.
"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."
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.
"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."
"Kalon is improving on a daily basis," said Justen Millerbernd, Ludvigson’s coach, "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."
Prior to moving to Colorado, the initial evaluation indicated Ludvigson had dislocated his C5 vertebrae but the spinal cord was intact and not severed. A follow up MRI showed a slight bulge of the disc between C5 and C6 that "could" have put some pressure on the spinal cord. On Aug. 11, Ludvigson had a surgical procedure to remove the disc and replace it with a bone graft so that the spinal cord had the chance to be aligned completely and to minimize post traumatic swelling. The surgery was successful in decreasing pressure on the spinal cord.
A fund has been started to assist Ludvigson in covering medical and rehabilitation costs, please go to www.gofundme.com/kalonludvigson to learn more. Also, please feel free to post messages of love and support on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/kalonludvigsonathlete.