Woman Paralyzed From Airplane Turbulence
You’ve seen the warning lights in the airplane bathrooms - “Return to your Seat”- during times of turbulence during a flight. A Texas woman didn’t heed the warning and now is suffering the effects of a broken neck suffered during her Saturday morning flight.
"She is paralyzed from the nipples to her toes," said Dr. Trey Fulp, to ABC News. He is the spinal surgeon who will perform a second operation today on the passenger at the McAllen Medical Center in McAllen, Tex. He describes the injury as a “hangman’s fracture” as it is the result of a neck break from people who hang themselves.
Another woman was also injured during the turbulence as was one crew member aboard the Continental flight 511 from Houston to McAllen.
The 47-year-old unidentified woman was thrown into the ceiling during turbulence. The break occurred at the thoracic level, reports ABC News between the C1 and C2 vertebrae in her neck.
That is the same injury that paralyzed Christopher Reeve when he fell off a horse in 1995.
The woman was also thrown against the toilet, which reportedly broke her back. She underwent six hours of surgery Monday and was scheduled for additional neck surgery today.
Her surgeon tells ABC News that the speed with which she was operated on might aid in her recovery. It is unclear whether she will ever be able to walk again. She was able to wiggle her toes this morning.
Storms had been reported in the Houston area before the flight which had to be delayed several hours. The Boeing 737 carried 104 passengers and five crew members. #