INDYCAR driver Robert Wickens, in a social media video post on Thursday, promised “I’ve never worked harder for anything in my life” in his inspirational effort to recover from serious injuries sustained in an August crash at Pocono Raceway.
In the post he shared across his social channels, the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver is shown at a rehabilitation center performing a slide transfer — moving from a bed to a wheelchair. Team co-owner Sam Schmidt can be seen looking on in the background.
Wickens’ written message that accompanied the video was honest and inspiring. He stated for the first time publicly that he is currently a paraplegic but added that “I am giving it all I’ve got to spark those nerves in my legs.”
Wickens suffered a thoracic spinal fracture along with fractures to his neck, legs and right forearm in the incident during the race at Pocono. Though he missed the final three Verizon IndyCar Series races of 2018, he was named Sunoco Rookie of the Year as he racked up seven top-five finishes and four podiums.
The complete written message from Wickens read:
“Did my first slide transfer as a paraplegic today. My upper body is getting stronger and stronger and hopefully I’ll be able to do it unassisted soon. I’ve only been posting videos of the small movement in my legs, but the reality is I am far away from walking on my own. Some people are a bit confused with the severity of my injury, so I wanted (to) let you know the reality of it. I’ve never worked harder for anything in my life, and I am giving it all I’ve got to spark those nerves in my legs.”
On Friday, Wickens clarified his situation with a follow-up social post.
As the posts showed, Wickens is clearly as determined as ever in seeing his recovery through to completion. And as the comments from others showed, he has continued support from the entire racing community. Among those who replied were fellow drivers:
“You will win Bro. I have no doubt.” – Tony Kanaan
“Great progress Robbie! Keep at it my man!” – Graham Rahal
“You don’t half ass anything, brother! We know how hard you’re pushing! Keep it up!!” – James Hinchcliffe.
“Keep up the great work! We are all pushing with you.” – Fernando Alonso
“Keep pushing man. You look strong & determined as usual.” – Ryan Hunter-Reay
Here are some of Wickens' earlier updates: