What began as a fun day on a pontoon boat ended in horror for one Florida woman. After jumping off the boat into shallow water, she suffered immediate paralysis.
On Sunday, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office reported that a young woman jumped feet first from an anchored pontoon into “very shallow water” in the Choctawhatchee Bay near a sea wall.
She knew she had made a disastrous decision when she immediately lost feeling in the lower part of her body. However, according to authorities, she remained alert and conscious after the jump.
Once authorities were on the scene, deputies from the sheriff’s department and Fort Walton police officers rescued her and pulled her ashore in a large float. Paramedics later transported her to a local hospital.
Currently, the woman’s identity has not been released. However, on Facebook, Denise Leach identified the Florida woman as her daughter, and another user tagged a woman named Kayla Leach.
In the comments section of the Sheriff’s Office post, Leach said that her daughter has since regained control of her legs.
She wrote: “Update for everyone. Geat news is the paralysis was only temporary and she has regained use of her legs.”
Florida woman’s mom confirms her daughter regained feeling in her legs after terrifying jump
Leach added: “She is in the hospital recovering and should be OK with time.” She also thanked the deputies who arrived on the scene to rescue her daughter.
She continued: “Special love and thanks to the FWB officer, who by the way is her brother. Also, thanks for all the prayers and well wishes from all of you who didn’t even know who she is.”
Despite the good news, it’s still unclear what caused the woman to become paralyzed immediately after the fall. However, some have suggested she may have injured her spinal cord after jumping.
According to the Oregon Health and Science University, each spine disc in the human body is like a jelly doughnut, with a soft center, known as the nucleus, and a tough outer shell, which is the capsule.
As a result, some experts believe the woman suffered a herniated disc.
Once you get a herniated disc, it can irritate the spinal cord or nearby nerves. As a result, it can cause the spinal cord to compress. This compression manifests as weakness or numbness in the arms or legs.
According to the Shepherd Center, diving is the fourth leading cause of paralyzing spinal cord injuries.
In addition, 89% of individuals who get hurt diving are male, and 11% are female. Most individuals who are injured are between 20 and 29 years old. Many people who sustained a spinal cord injury from jumping into shallow water lament that they thought the water was deeper than it was.