DENVER, Colo. (KGO) --A former Olympic swimmer who was paralyzed after suffering a severe spinal injury somehow remains grateful.
Amy Van Dyken Rouen spoke about her injuries Wednesday as she was transported from Arizona to Colorado. She says she's using positivity to help ease her pain.
Six-time gold medal swimmer Amy Van Dyken Rouen was all smiles as she arrived in Colorado to continue her rehabilitation.
The 41-year-old was involved in an ATV accident earlier this month that severed her spinal cord. She had no feeling in her legs and feet after the accident.
Before undergoing surgery in Arizona, her doctor told her to say goodbye to her husband because there was a good chance she wouldn't make it out of surgery.
"I looked at my husband and basically said, 'I love you goodbye, please continue on with your life. I allow you to date,' which was hard to say, but we said our goodbyes," Dyken Rouen said.
Van Dyken Rouen knows she lucky to be alive. She said, "Yes this injury sucks and yes things hurt, but I'm alive and so thankful to be alive and so that's why I can be positive about it you know... It helps get me through the pain."
Her doctors say they are amazed by her positive attitude.
In 1996, Van Dyken Rouen became the first American woman to win four Olympic gold medals and she won two more in 2000.