Print this page

Brian Vickers' remarkable recovery

Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service Thursday, Jan 29 1436

Brian Vickers was on the way to a photo shoot for sponsor Aaron’s in mid-December when a pain in his chest told him that a hospital was a more appropriate destination.

Vickers underwent open-heart surgery to remove an artificial patch between the two upper chambers of his heart and to replace it with tissue from the sac that surrounds the heart.

In six weeks, Vickers has gone from intensive care to medical clearance to drive the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in the third race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Sidelined twice by blood clots before the most recent episode, Vickers now believes the heart issue is behind him.

“I feel like it is, and the doctors feel like it is, or I wouldn’t be going back racing,” Vickers said Tuesday. “But I learned long ago that I have no idea what tomorrow holds. And that’s not just for me, right? That’s for anybody. Carpe diem, right? Seize the day. Live today. Live for the moment…

“Am I concerned about tomorrow? No. But I also have a very good understanding that I have no idea what tomorrow brings. One day at a time.”

After the Daytona 500, where team owner Michael Waltrip will drive the No. 55, Brett Moffitt will get behind the wheel for his Sprint Cup debut at Atlanta. The following week, Vickers will return to the car in Las Vegas, a timetable that still has teammate Clint Bowyer shaking his head.

After seeing Vickers at the MWR Christmas party two weeks after the surgery, Bowyer would have given odds that Vickers wouldn’t be back in the car any time soon.

“I was really, really worried that we were going to be focused on trying to find the best replacement for Brian, instead of getting our team resurrected and back where it needs to be,” Bowyer said. “The difference that I saw in Brian, from the time he came to that Christmas party, where I was really concerned for his life…

“I mean, it was no more concern selfishly for a teammate. This guy looked like he was not going to make it. I mean, I’m not kidding. And to see him now, it’s at least a 300-percent improvement from the guy I saw a month ago. It’s unbelievable.”

Rate this item
(0 votes)
X

No right click

Please link the article.