For the first time since a qualifying crash almost a month ago, Shane Hmiel moved his legs.
As reported via Scene Daily, Hmiel was about to move his legs and pick his foot up off the ground when his knee was bent.
“That’s a huge step in the right direction,” Hmiel's father Steve told Scene Daily. “The original MRI didn’t show any damage [to the spinal cord], only bruising. So, they kept saying, ‘Oh, he’s fine, he’s fine.’ Well, you’ve got to kind of prove it to me...To see that, that was a huge relief that it can be done.”
Hmiel's father continued to go on and say that he was proud of his son's progress.
“It’s too much good news, it scares me,” Hmiel said. “When you’re in a rehabilitation facility, you see a lot of people that aren’t getting good news and you don’t ever want somebody to be bragging about the good luck that you have.
“You want to do cartwheels down the hall when your kid moves his leg, but there’s people all over the place that aren’t ever going to do that.”
Reports originally showed that Hmiel may not be able to leave the ICU till Christmas, though he's already out and into therapy in a rehabilitation center in Charlotte.
Hmiel's father continued on to say that his son is getting back to himself.
“He’s yelling at his brother for not getting him a pack of cigarettes,’’ Steve said. “The nurses are all too slow. They told him the other day, “Shane, you can’t eat. You can have eight ice cubs every two hours.’ He said, ‘That’s bull----.’
“It does sound like Shane. What we’re actually doing now is rehabbing everything else and trying to remove his vocal cords."
Hmiel sustained a broken neck, broken back, broken right shoulder and a bruised spinal cord after flipping in turns three and four, with the top of the roll cage bouncing off the wall.
For continued updates, check out the Facebook page Shane Hmiel–Road to Recovery, where multiple updates are posted daily by his mom Lisa.
To help raise money to help to pay the medical expenses, USAC is selling the Racing to Recovery decals at $5.00 on their website. Also, for every new fan that joins the USAC fan page on Facebook before December 31st, USAC will donate 10 cents to the family.
RWB Motorsports is also helping to raise money by selling the 2010 Shane Hmiel t-shirts via their website for $25.00, with all the funds going to the family. They all recently started selling the hoodies, which are the same design as the t-shirt, for $45.00, also with funds going to the family.
Fans who wish to make a direct donation may write a check to BENEFIT OF SHANE HMIEL and send it to: Steve Pruett, 700 St. John Street, Suite 300, Lafayette, LA 70501.
Electronic donations can be made and information about the up-coming fundraiser being done can be found at: http://raiseforshane.bbnow.org/donate.php.
Medical expenses have surpassed $1 million already and have been paid by USAC. Steve Hmiel feels the family will be able to pay the remaining expenses and hopes to pass the rest of the funds raised to other racers in similar situations.