Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation says Makenzie Wethington walked with help Monday.
A Dallas hospital says the teen who plummeted 3,500 feet in a skydiving accident last month walked about 80 feet with assistance Monday and could recover completely.
Makenzie Wethington, 16, suffered severe injuries after her parachute malfunctioned over Chickasha, Okla. According to the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, she suffered fractures to the spine, hip, pelvis and ribs.
But the physician overseeing her care at the Dallas facility said Tuesday during a news conference that Makenzie's recovery has been promising.
"She's able to talk to us, tell us what she needs, tell us where she's at. Her memory from just before the accident is pretty good," said the doctor, Seema Sikka. "All of that tells me that it's not as severe as we might have thought. If she's continuing to make this type of progress that we're seeing now – she's young, she's motivated and she has great support. … I think she could potentially have a full recovery."
Makenzie's father, Joe Wethington, has said that his daughter's parachute did not fully deploy, though the owner of the Pegasus Air Sports Center has said there was nothing wrong with the parachute, according to NBC News. The teen began her recovery at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center then transferred to the Dallas facility.
Sikka says Makenzie will likely have to remain in rehab for several weeks and that her biggest challenge will be pain management.
Holly Wethington said her focus was not so much on the fact that her daughter walked Monday but that she survived the mishap.
"It's the fact that she is still alive, and there's a reason for it," Holly Wethington said.
"It's like she has some type of superpower or something," Joe Wethington said during the news conference, adding that doctors in Oklahoma were not hopeful about her outlook. "And now she's walking," he said.