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Teen Injured In Okla. Skydiving Accident Settles Into Dallas Rehab Center

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DALLAS (CBS 11 News) - The Joshua teen who fell 3,500 feet in a skydiving accident has been released from an Oklahoma hospital and is recovering at Dallas’ Baylor Rehabilitation Institute Saturday night.

Makenzie Wethington, 16, broke her pelvis, shoulder blades, ribs and countless other bones after her parachute failed to open properly and led to a frightening accident. She also suffered from internal bleeding and a broken vertebrae.

Yet remarkably, friends of Wethington told CBS 11 she is doing okay. She received a surprise visit from her two best friends Saturday.

It was the first time Krista Woodard and Mia Ybarra had seen her since the accident. Both said Wethington seemed very happy to see them.

“Happy to see her talking, breathing on her own, smiling,” said Ybarra, who has known Wethington since middle school. “It’s just heart warming to know that she is doing good.”

Her family has been overwhelmed with calls and well wishes from friends, family and even strangers.

In addition, Wethington’s family issued this statement Saturday:

“Makenzie Wethington and her family have expressed their sincere appreciation for everyone’s interest and support. Makenzie had a good first day of physical therapy and her mother, Holly, said she is very proud of her. The family is continuing to get settled and plans to share more information early next week.”

Classmates at Joshua High School have been raising money for the teen’s medical bills through bake sales and selling t-shirts.

They’ve taken close to 2,000 orders for “Makenzie Strong” t-shirts, with $6 from each $10 shirt going to her fund. They’ve taken in orders from people around the world.

Students also sold cookies, brownies and cupcakes for $.50 over the lunch period on Friday, collecting more than $150 for their friend.

They have no doubt the aspiring cardiovascular surgeon will soon be back on her feet, calling her the most courageous person they know.

Doctors say her recovery could take months.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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