Teen Injured in Skydiving Accident Speaks About Recovery - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Teen Injured in Skydiving Accident Speaks About Recovery

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Makenzie Wethington spoke to the media at the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas Thursday morning. -- KXAS Makenzie Wethington spoke to the media at the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas Thursday morning. -- KXAS

(KXAS) -- A 16-year-old North Texas girl who plummeted more than 3,500 feet to the ground in an Oklahoma sky diving accident last month publicly discussed her recovery for the first time Thursday.

Makenzie Wethington spoke to the media at the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas Thursday morning.

"I would like to, first of all, thank God," the teen said at the start of the news conference.

Wethington said she felt a rush of excitement when she leapt from the plane, but it turned to panic when her canopy malfunctioned and she was unable to correct it.

Wethington crashed into the earth after falling more than 3,500 feet on Jan. 25 after she and her parents said she had an issue with her parachute. Her injuries included damage to her liver and a broken pelvis, a broken lumbar spine in her lower back, a broken shoulder blade and several broken ribs and teeth.

The owner of the Chickasha-based sky diving school said Wethington did not follow the trainingand that there was nothing wrong with her parachute.

During the news conference, Wethington said she remembers nearly everything about the accident, including falling and kicking in midair before blacking out and hitting the ground.

"I don't think it really hit me after first waking up," Wethington said. She said the memories came back later.

During the news conference Thursday, Dr. Seema Sikka, who is leading Wethington's recovery effort, said the girl was walking with assistance and reiterated her opinion that Wethington is expected to fully recover.

"I've seen a lot of amazing things in my career, but I can't explain how someone survives this," said Sikka.

Wethington was transferred to the Dallas facility after spending about a week in an Oklahoma City hospital following the accident, but the teen said she doesn't remember much about Oklahoma.

Recovery is going well for the teen, but she said the process can be frustrating, specifically with cognitive issues due to brain trauma.

Looking back on the accident, Wethington did have some regrets — including not making her jump in tandem.

"I think there is a limit on what 16-year-olds can and can't do," Wethington said. She said sky diving was on her "bucket list" and that she pleaded with her mother to go.

Wethington's mother Holly agreed and called for changes in the age a person must be to sky-dive solo.

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