Makenzie Wethington on Surviving Skydiving Accident: 'I Just Thank God'

CNN
Friday, February 14, 2014 - 11:05am

Dallas (KDAF) -- "I'm good. I feel good. I'm doing better every day," said 16-year-old Makenzie Wethington Thursday. Sitting at a conference table, next to her parents and doctor, Makenzie spoke publicly about her fall for the first time.

Less than three weeks ago, Makenzie fell from a plane 3,500 feet above ground. She doesn't remember hitting the ground, but she does remember she was afraid.

"I remember jumping out of the plane and looking up and seeing there was something wrong with the parachute. So, I started kicking my feet like I was taught in the class. I looked up and it still wasn't fixing. So, I tried to pull the togs apart and I just was not strong enough to fight off the wind. So, I just remember screaming and I blacked out," said Makenzie. She woke up three days later.

"I'll never forget the look on her face and how she looked when I run up on her when she was on the ground," said Joe Wethington, her father.

Now, she's walking — more than 150 feet at a time. She might be able to go home within a week. Even her doctors can't explain her rapid recovery.

"I just don't know," said Dr. Seema Sikka, who is leading Makenzie's recovery team at Dallas' Baylor Health Care System. "It's really an amazing story."

Makenzie says it's thanks to God and the support of her community.

"It really keeps me going. They're my motivation, wanting to please them. Everything they've done, with the fundraisers and stuff, it really helps," she said.

Despite the pain and the struggles of recovery, Makenzie says the fall gave her direction.

"I think this is my second chance to do better than I was doing, in the future. I've always wanted to be a surgeon and now I know that I want to specialize in trauma so I can relate to the patients more. I think this has just made me get a better look on life," she said.

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