Vaulter Magazine spoke with Thomas Herzog Kira’s Manager about the details of her last pole vault session that left her paralyzed from the neck down.
The details are in the following quote, “The accident happened when Kira was making a training jump with 8 steps only over a height of 4.10m (13’4″). During her 3rd attempt her try was without any depth, so after the full rotation she did not land on the mat, but in front and hit the vault box with the 5th cervical. The 5th cervical fractured and this is why Kira is tetraplegic and can not move anything from her neck downwards.”
Herzog said the accident, that occurred when Gruenberg landed on the pole vault box with her head and neck during a routine training session in the western city of Innsbruck that left her with a fracture of the fifth cervical vertebrae, has left her with little room for a positive outcome.
He said Gruenberg was fully conscious and understood the prognosis after doctors informed both her and her family of it over the weekend.
The 21-year-old athlete who holds the domestic pole vault record will remain in the intensive care unit of the Medical University of Innsbruck, where she has been since the doctors operated on her for several hours following the accident.
Herzog said Gruenberg has been reading the numerous messages of support from around the world for which she expressed her thanks, and that her family hopes she can remain strong as she deals with her predicament.
“The medical prognosis is harrowing, but nothing is set in stone, and therein lies the entire hope,” he said according to a Kronen Zeitung newspaper report.
The family also extended its thanks to the hospital, its doctors, as well as the nursing staff who have been caring for Gruenberg around the clock.
A website for donations has also been established, at www.donationkira.com.