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Ben Russell, NBC 5 News
Makenzie Wethington of Joshua was released from an Oklahoma City hospital and will continue her recovery from skydiving injuries at a rehab center in the DFW area.
The Johnson County teen who nearly died in a sky diving accident in Oklahoma less than a week ago is heading back to North Texas Friday.
Makenzie Wethington, 16, checked out of the University of Oklahoma Medical Center Friday afternoon and, with a long recovery ahead of her, is headed to a Dallas-Fort Worth rehab facility.
Though it'll be awhile before she returns to school, her classmates at Joshua High School are supporting her every step of the way. Friday, students are holding a bake sale to raise money to help with her medical expenses.
Her family is thanking everyone for rallying behind her. The staff and students at her high school have been sending cards, sending prayers, and raising money by selling 1,000 T-shirts that truly represent Makenzie’s strength.
“The back says, ‘Makenzie Strong.’ We made them pink, her favorite color, and put a bow on top of the ‘I’ because you never see Makenzie without a bow,” said friend, Allison Gillmore.
“I believe in you that you can get well soon. I’m happy that you're walking. I miss you. I love you more than words can explain,” said friend, Mia Ybarra.
Friends will talk about Makenzie’s recovery during a pep rally Friday afternoon at the high school. It's their support that’s helping Makenzie push through her pain.
“All faith in God. She's just a walking miracle,” said sophomore Danielle Erinakes, Makenzie’s friend.
Friends can’t believe Makenzie is walking less than a week after plunging from a plane.
“She’s just so strong. God has kept his hand on her the whole way through. Yesterday, she walked to the bathroom. It's just amazing how fast this recovery is going,” said Laura Pritchard.
Wednesday, Makenzie got to her feet for the first time. She’s in so much pain and in a brace with a fractured vertebrae.
On the eve of Makenzie's release from the hospital, her mom, Holly Wethington spoke with NBC 5 reporter Ben Russell who traveled to Oklahoma City.
“She’s ready to get up, get up and walk. She wants that brace off even though we've had to break the news to her that's not coming off for a long time,” Wethington said.
Makenzie will now spend at least two to three weeks at a local rehab facility. She’ll learn to walk again. She's struggling to talk with broken teeth from the fall.
“It may be a week. It may be six. It may be six months. But you know, she's got to recover before we let her do anything. And I know everybody has been asking to talk to her, but it's not happening yet,” said Wethington.