Makenzie Wethington, 16, miraculously survived a 3,500-foot fall after her parachute may have failed to deploy properly during her first skydive.
The Joshua, Texas, teen suffered a broken vertebrae and pelvis, according to various news reports. An NBC station in Dallas/Fort Worth said the teen also is suffering from bleeding in her brain,
lungs and liver.
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The girl and her father drove to Pegasus Air Sports Center in Chickasha, Okla., on Saturday so Makenzie could live out her dream of skydiving, NBC said. Pegasus Air says the girl was allowed to jump solo with her father’s consent; typically, skydivers must be 18 to jump alone. Pegasus owner Bob Swainson told an NBC affiliate in Oklahoma that jumpers are trained to help themselves through difficult scenarios, and said nothing was wrong with the parachute.
“She probably panicked and did not follow the training. You’ve got to keep your head when you skydive. That’s why people skydive. It is a dangerous activity. You’ve got to learn to keep your head even on your first jump, you have to keep your head. And often people debate, well, it’s my first jump, but you’ve still got to keep your head," Swainson said.
But the girl’s father, Joe, disputed the details of what happened, saying the parachute did not open properly.
The family launched a Facebook page to post updates, and it was being filled with prayers and well wishes from family, friends, and strangers.
On Tuesday afternoon, the family wrote that Makenzie’s condition was improving.
“Makenzie is not bleeding anymore, no leakage from her liver, she is in alot of pain and they are taking xrays now to see about spine and pelvies.. she is doing wonderful considering what happened!”
Many were saying Makenzie’s survival was nothing short of a miracle.
“An awesome God was looking down below and gave her a second chance,” Tammie Hogan Lail posted on the Facebook page.
Similar thoughts were being expressed on Twitter.
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