Supercross and Arenacross racer Leighton Lillie suffered fractures to the T6 and T7 vertebras in his back after crashing during practice for last night’s AMA Arenacross race in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Lillie was transported to St. Johns Hospital and initially had little to no feeling below the waist but doctors were optimistic after tests this morning showed that his spinal cord was not severed in the accident and that the nerves in his legs reacted to stimulus.
Team Faith’s Kevin Johnson accompanied Lillie to the hospital last night and reported that doctors are planning surgery for Tuesday to insert rods to help stabilize the injury.
This morning the doctors did a test where they poked his foot and it jumped, which was a good sign, said Johnson. Last night they did that and they didn’t get a reaction, so that is a sign that when the swelling goes down he will get more feeling back and then they will be able to start some kind of rehab and he very likely will gain it all back.
Lillie went over the bars in the rhythm section of the Tulsa track during the opening practice session and was immediately immobilized and transported by the attending medical unit.
Johnson relayed that Leighton is optimistic but realizes that he has a long road ahead of him. But he is determined to do what it takes to recover from this setback. Johnson also said that Leighton would appreciate our prayers and support.
In a phone call this morning, Leighton’s father told Cycle News that Leighton would eventually be moved to a hospital that specializes in spinal cord injuries. He is very scared right now and can use everyone’s support and prayers, he said. Right now, the doctors are optimistic about the outcome and all we can do is hope for the best.
On February 23rd Leighton was been moved to Craig hospital in Denver to begin his rehab. He is excited to get started and is ready to do everything he can, every chance he gets. Leighton’s family is getting an apartment near the hospital. They are determined to not leave Leighton on his own during this journey. Leighton is very fortunate to have such wonderful loving parents….and his girlfriend.
Leighton had a setback this weekend. He broke out in a rash and it turned out to be chicken pox. He had to be put in quarantine since it is so contagious and has had to stop his therapy until the rash goes away. He is not feeling very good with the rash and was bummed that he had to stop his therapy after only a few days of work. Hopefully this will go away fast and he can get back after it soon