Weirich Making Strides Toward Full Recovery

Matt Weirich, a member of the 2002 MWC Championship track team and missionary in Australia, has made definite progress after falling 230-feet over a week ago.

PROVO -- Matt Weirich, a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in Sydney, Australia, and a 2002 member of the BYU track team, has made significant progress in his recovery after falling nearly 230 feet over a week ago.

"Matt is doing a lot better now," Chris Weirich, Matt's older brother said. "From weekly reports from my parents at the hospital, he is now speaking and gets up and walks around. The doctors have been asking him more questions, so his memory is getting better."

Chris, who is also a member of the BYU track team, said his brother's head injuries, including a contusion and skull fracture, are still about the same. However, doctors are making sure there is no swelling in the brain. Fortunately, the rest of his injuries are much less severe.

"The family has told me that he has no speech problems or spinal trauma," BYU men's track coach Mark Robison said. "Matt will be having a minor surgery on his nose, but everything now is spectacular and the family is very positive about his progress."

Despite his injuries, Matt was able to write an uplifting letter to one of his previous missionary companions, which amazed his neurologist, Chris said.

"His dad told me that if he heals up in the near future, he'll probably want to finish his mission," Robison said. "We'll know the answer to when he'll return home and everything in a few weeks hopefully."

Although finishing his mission is yet to be determined, Matt is scheduled to return to BYU in August for the fall semester and possibly continue competing for the Cougars.

Before entering the MTC in September of 2002, Matt placed third in the decathlon at the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championship and competed at the U.S. Junior Nationals.