On January 25, sixteen-year old Makenzie Wethington, from Joshua, Texas, made a static-line skydiving jump. (That is where a parachute is attached to a line that automatically opens the parachute after the person jumps from the plane.)
Her parachute opened but then Makenzie went into spiral fall. She fell approximately 3,500 feet to the ground and suffered a broken lumbar spine, a broken pelvis, a broken shoulder blade, and several broken ribs. Her liver was damaged and one of her teeth was knocked out.
For the first 24 hours, doctors and her family weren’t sure that she would make it. But then the bleeding stopped. She made it through one day. Then two. Then a full week. Today, she went back to school
Makenzie didn’t have insurance and after her accident she has hefty medial bills. Joshua Self Storage Solutions held an auction on Saturday and all of the proceeds were donated to help pay Makenzie’s medical bills.
Joseph Sidawi’s family owns Joshua Self Storage Solutions. Their self storage business is very community minded. They hold quarterly auctions and donate the proceeds to various local charities.
When Sidawi heard about Makenzie’s accident and subsequent recovery, he was amazed. Not very many people can fall like that and live to tell about it. He decided that the proceeds from the March auction at his self storage facility would be donated toward Wethington’s medical bills.
When renters move out of their self storage unit, Sidawi tells them that if there is anything that they don’t want, they can leave it behind and he will auction it off for charity. Their auctions generally raise about $1,000 dollars.
For this month’s auction, Sidawi ended up with a 10-foot-by-20-foot storage unit packed to the ceiling – and to overflowing – with items for the auction. Sidawi also sold raffle tickets for a .22-caliber Henry rifle.( The rifle is a very high-quality lever-action rifle which typically sells for $350.) All of the proceeds from the sale of raffle ticket will also go to help pay Wethington’s medical bills. The drawing for the gun will not be held until June 14.
Now, less than two months after her terrifying accident, doctors have released Mackenzie to do whatever she wants. She can go back to living her regular life. She is walking without assistance and has quietly returned to school with little fanfare. Physically she is doing exceptionally well. However, she still has memory problems.
“Joshua Teen in ICU After Skydiving Parachute Malfunctions.” NBC Dallas/Fort Worth News; 28 2014.
“Teen Injured in Skydiving Accident Speaks About Recovery.” NBC Dallas/Fort Worth News; 13 February 2014.
“Skydiving Accident Survivor Returns to School.: CBS Dallas/Fortworth News; 31 March 2014.