Skydiving teen walks with help
DALLAS — A 16-year-old North Texas girl who plummeted more than 3,000 feet to the ground in an Oklahoma skydiving accident walked with assistance on Monday and is expected to recover, her doctor said.
Makenzie Wethington was transferred to the facility on Friday. She spent about a week in an Oklahoma City hospital in the Jan. 25 accident at a Chickasha skydiving school. Dr. Seema R. Sikka with the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas said that Wethington is likely to be hospitalized for a few more weeks.
“She is doing well. She’s had multiple traumas but actually has been staying in good spirits,” said Sikka. The hospital was still evaluating her injuries, which include damage to her liver and a broken pelvis, lumbar spine in her lower back, shoulder blade, several ribs and teeth.
The teenager’s parents attended the news conference, but Makenzie did not.
Her parents agreed to allow her to skydive as a 16th birthday present, and her father jumped ahead of her. When the teen from Joshua jumped, her canopy opened but with a malfunction that she was unable to correct, and she did not deploy a reserve parachute. Her father, Joe Wethington, has said she told him she blacked out as she plummeted to the ground. She landed on grass.
Sikka said that Makenzie will work on tasks such as being able to get out of bed, brush her teeth and get dressed.
“From what we are seeing now, we expect and hope for a full recovery,” Sikka said.