The West

Skydive girl walks again
Makenzie Wethington during a physical therapy session. Picture: Associated Press/Baylor Health Care System

A 16-year-old American girl who plummeted more than 900 metres to the ground in a skydiving accident has walked with assistance and is expected to fully recover.

Dr. Seema R. Sikka from the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas told a news conference on Monday that Makenzie Wethington is likely to be hospitalised for a few more weeks following the January 25 accident.

“She is doing well. She's had multiple traumas but actually has been staying in good spirits,” said Sikka, who added that 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.

Her parents agreed to allow her to skydive as a 16th birthday present, and her father jumped ahead of her.

When the teen jumped, her canopy opened but with a malfunction that she was unable to correct, and she did not deploy a reserve parachute as she had been taught to do.

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 Wethington will work on tasks like 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.

The girl's mother, Holly Wethington, said that her daughter was in good spirits and had lots of visitors over the weekend.

"She is ready and eager to get well,” she said.

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