George Anthony has been released from the hospital following a debilitating car crash in November — but sources say he has a long road to recovery

By Steve Helling
December 28, 2018 04:22 PM
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Credit: Peter Kramer/NBC/Getty Images; Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT/Getty Images

The father of Casey Anthony, has been released from the hospital following a debilitating car crash in November — but sources tell PEOPLE that the 67-year-old has a long road to recovery.

Sources close to Anthony say that dad George Anthony suffered a “serious” spinal cord injury. Additionally, he sustained internal injuries and nerve damage.

“There was a question about whether he would ever walk again,” a source close to the Anthony family tells PEOPLE. “He was in a wheelchair in the hospital as he recovered and it was really dire. He moves very, very slowly now, using a walker. He has a lot of neck and shoulder pain, and he’s in a brace from head to waist. He’s never going to be the same.”

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, George was driving his wife’s Toyota 4Runner on an Orlando interstate in November when he lost control of the vehicle and flipped several times.

According to the incident report, George’s vehicle veered off the right shoulder. He attempted to swerve back onto the roadway and lost control. The vehicle flipped, crossing all lanes of traffic, before coming to a stop on the left median of the road.

He was the only person in the SUV at the time of the crash.

He was transported to a nearby hospital and the Florida Highway Patrol report stated that his injuries were “incapacitating.”

George was first thrust into the national spotlight after his daughter was charged with murder in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. During the trial, her defense team alleged that George had molested Casey, 32, from the time she was young — an allegation he strongly denied.

The trial, which resulted in Casey’s acquittal, damaged her relationship with her father. They have not spoken for several years.

During a recent Dr. Oz episode, George responded to PEOPLE’s recent report that his daughter is “open” to having more children.

“Knowing now that she could potentially be a mom again, I hope she does better this time around than what she did last time,” he said on the show.

From left: Cindy and George Anthony on Dr. Oz
| Credit: Sony Pictures Television

While George said he wishes his daughter the best, he told the show their relationship was irreparable. “We’re not connected anymore,” he said. “And that hurts. I wish I could be part of her life, but I would never feel comfortable around her. I can’t trust her.”

Despite his serious injuries last month, Casey has chosen not to visit her father — and is still living her life in South Florida.

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For now, George is focused on recovering from his injuries and is determined to again walk unassisted.

“He’s a fighter. He keeps saying he’s going to recover completely,” says the source. “He’s going to have many months of physical therapy, and it remains to be seen how his body will heal from this. He’s been through a lot, but he’s very strong. He’ll give it everything he’s got.”