Olympian Jamie Nieto hopes to walk at wedding after paralyzing incident
In April 2016, two-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto was coaching high jump at USC when he suffered a freak injury that left him partially paralyzed from the neck down. After surgery and months of rehabilitation, Nieto is now hoping to walk down the aisle at his wedding in July, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Nieto was injured while attempting a backflip in practice and landed on his head. He underwent surgery to fuse a disk in his neck and then started updating his fans with videos of his progress on social media. Olympic teammate Lolo Jones also established a fund that raised more than $80,000 for his recovery and medical expenses.
Nieto started walking unassisted little by little. The LA Times reports that he is now up to 80 steps without help. After the accident, Nieto's doctors said that he would be able to regain about 30% of his body function. Nieto believes the number is much higher.
“I felt like God told me I’m going to make a full recovery. I’ve just got to go through this,” Nieto said. “You’re going to make it. You’ve just got to keep going, keep pushing.”
In addition to his wedding, the four-time U.S. champion would like to coach again.