A Georgia teacher has been left paralysed after enduring a spinal cord injury during an inflatable waterslide accident, her family has said.
Valerie Feske of Richmond Hill, near the city of Savannah, was taken to the hospital after she was injured while playing with children on a waterslide at a neighbourhood party, her husband Brent Feske told WTOC.
“She was up there playing and what happen was one of the kids ended up colliding with her just in the absolute wrong way,” her husband said.
The accident left Ms Feske paralysed from the chest down, according to family members. However, after surgery she has regained some arm movement.
“It’s devastating, you know, to think that a fun Memorial Day weekend waterslide could be a life-changing event like this,” Mr Feske said.
“She’s moving her arms a little bit and we weren’t even sure if she could do that and that’s 24 hours after surgery. She’s already showing improvement and that to me is such a great sign and I’m just so excited,” he told the broadcaster.
The teacher’s friends described how the accident happened.
“It just happened in a split second. She was super happy, laughing, having a great time and everything changed,” one friend, Jennifer Price, told WTOC.
Another friend, Maria Knight, said the accident had made her realise what was important in life.
“It’s changed everything for us. It just helps you to understand that you need to love on your people, which is exactly what we’re doing right now.”
Ms Feske’s family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for her medical costs which has raised over $38,000 (£31,000) of its $250,000 (£203,000) goal.