Veteran Paraplegic Skydiver Survives Accident After Parachute Gets Stuck In Wheelchair 

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August 19, 2021 astatine 1:03 pm

MCKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – He survived a deed from a rocket propelled grenade portion serving the U.S. equipped forces successful 2009. Now seasoned Michael Vasquez has bushed the likelihood again, remaining live aft a skydiving accident.

Michael Vasquez (credit: Medical City McKinney)

On August 13, his parachute got caught successful the tyre of his wheelchair, spinning him retired of power during his past leap of the time successful Whitewright, a municipality successful Grayson County, Texas. Vasquez tried releasing the tangled parachute truthful helium could propulsion his reserve parachute. The main parachute was partially detached and the reserve parachute did not release. So Vasquez relied connected the semi-inflated, partially attached main parachute to soften his landing.

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“The tangled parachute slowed maine down and I landed astatine astir 12 miles per hour. It saved my life,” Vasquez said. “I deed the crushed and I could consciousness the impact. I knew not to determination from the presumption that I landed and waited for exigency assistance to arrive.”

Brought to Medical City McKinney’s Level III Trauma Center, Vasquez was diagnosed with a femur fracture aft the mishap and aggregate spinal fractures. Orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons focused connected treating his injuries and preserving Vasquez’s erstwhile mobility.

Vasquez mislaid the usage of his legs erstwhile helium was wounded warring successful the Middle East 9 years ago. Since returning home, helium has focused connected becoming a licensed skydiver and jumping from airplanes crossed the U.S.

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“While Vasquez’s warfare injuries paralyzed his legs, helium maintained immoderate relation of his hep flexors. This question gave him a bully magnitude of relation to unrecorded a prime beingness and it was our extremity to sphere that function,” says Dr. Shashank Gandhi, a neurosurgeon connected unit astatine Medical City McKinney. “Using minimally invasive surgical techniques, we were capable to stabilize his spine, truthful determination is nary further hazard of wounded to his spinal cord. These techniques trim harm to his backmost muscles, allowing for reduced symptom and faster recovery.”

In summation to skydiving, Vasquez is simply a competitory manus cyclist and competes nationally and internationally, hoping to triumph a spot connected a aboriginal U.S.A. Paralympics team.

“The incisions volition heal wrong weeks and erstwhile the fractures heal, we tin perchance region the screws and rods retired truthful Michael volition not person to unrecorded with spinal implants successful his back,” says Dr. Gandhi. “Following rehab to assistance fortify his back, Michael should beryllium backmost to his mean prime of beingness wrong 3 months.”

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As for Vasquez, helium said he’s acceptable to get backmost to wherever helium was earlier the accident.

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