Matthew DeVlieger, posing with tennis star Rafael Nadal
Calvin tennis player Andrew DeVlieger, Matthew's twin
A tee-shirt worn by a tennis player at Friday's MIAA championship
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- MIAA tennis players ditched their usual attire on day one of the conference championship Friday. Instead, they wore blue t-shirts with a tribute to injured Calvin player Matthew DeVlieger inscribed on the back.
DeVlieger was paralyzed on a scuba dive in late December. He continues to make progress at a Florida rehabilitation center regaining movement in his legs.
"Matthew's having a blast down there," says twin brother Andrew DeVlieger, a Calvin tennis player. "He's working really really hard in physical therapy and occupational therapy. He's just as thrilled about it as all of us are."
Andrew DeVlieger says Matthew is now able to wiggle his toes and move his ankles and that while lying on his back, he can partially bend his knee.
Andrew says Matthew's doctors had told the family he would not reach these milestones. "We're just so encouraged by all the progress that he's made so far it's just been phenomenal."