Teen injured in parasailing accident undergoing rehab in Indianapolis
One of the two Indiana teens seriously hurt in a Florida parasailing accident is back in Indiana. Alexis Fairchild, 17, is continuing rehab at a hospital in Indianapolis.
Michael Fairchild says his daughter has a way to go in her recovery.
When Alexis Fairchild's family heard about the horrific accident that sent two teens crashing to the ground, "we didn't think we could cry so much. Just tear after tear," said Michael Fairchild.
Her father's drive down to a Florida hospital was just as painful.
"Especially when you walk in and you see your daughter helpless, you feel helpless at the time. It's just devastation," he said.
Back home in Indiana, there is hope, and signs of healing.
"Lex is gonna get the best treatment and be able to get the best outcome right here," said her father.
The Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana is known for making miracles. A team of doctors is now assessing Alexis to figure out an individualized therapy plan.
Recovery won't be easy. She broke bones in her spine, had a skull fracture and a brain injury.
"Her biggest hurdle right now is the pain control. Obviously she's had some very painful injuries and being able to get ahold of that pain is gonna be really helpful in getting her mobilized," said Dr. Lisa Lombard, RHI Medical Director.
Alexis will spend at least ten days in the hospital and likely months as an outpatient. She'll be working on endurance, muscle strength, speech and memory.
One memory she does have and can't shake is the accident itself. Doctors say with her injuries, it's unusual Alexis remembers.
"It scared her a lot so she hasn't really said a lot about it," said Michael Fairchild. He says Alexis will not parasail again.
"So obviously that is a double edged sword. It's great that she's was able to maintain her consciousness for a good amount of that, but it's also she has the memories of the accident as well," said Dr. Lombard.
Alexis is young, otherwise healthy and has a lot of support. Her father says she is in good spirits despite her injuries. All of those factors are in her favor for a recovery, and doctors are impressed with how the 17-year-old has progressed already after back surgery.
"Within three days she was up walking and they said they've never heard of that and so I'm very grateful for where she's at right now," said her father. "Every little step you can actually take, seems like a giant step from what she just went through."
"She obviously has some really good spirits and a really good cheering section with her family, so I think she's going to be working very hard for us," said Dr. Lombard.
Family will be by her side the whole time. They say support from people who heard about this accident is helping too.
"Prayers, we still need prayers and make sure these kids recover to the fullest," said Fairchild.
Those prayers are needed not only for Alexis, but also Sidney Good, Alexis' friend who also had critical injuries in the accident. She's still in a Florida hospital and will need reconstructive surgery for injuries to her face, head and nasal cavity.
If you'd like to help the girls' families with medical expenses, click here to donate.