Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

January 29, 2014

Mackenzie’s miracle

JHS teen improving following sky diving accident


That was the word on everyone’s lips Tuesday at Joshua High School as they talked about JHS sophomore Mackenzie Wethington. And it is hard to dispute that it is, indeed, a miracle that the 16-year-old is alive after falling 3,500 feet when her first sky dive went horribly wrong Saturday.

But the teenager, hospitalized at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, doesn’t have to keep relying on miracles, because she has friends waiting at home who are determined to help her on her way to recovery.

Accounts have been set up at Wells Fargo Bank and online at to accept donations to help pay the costs of Mackenzie’s medical care. Her closest friends are selling T-shirts that not only will raise money for Mackenzie but celebrate her strength as well.

“We started designing the T-shirts in first period here at school [Monday]. By the end of school yesterday, we had already sold 300 shirts,” said Allison Gillmore, 15, who said she and Mackenzie have been friends since they were in kindergarten together.

She said the shirts sell for $10 each, and that at least $5 of that will go directly to Mackenzie.

“It will be more than that if we can find a way to get the cost of each shirt down,” said Danielle Erinakes, 16, who said she, too, has been friends with Mackenzie since kindergarten.

Laura Pritchard and Mia Ybarra, both 15, said they have been friends with Mackenzie since they first met her in seventh grade. The three are trainers together for the JHS football and basketball teams. They are working with Danielle and Allison to raise money for Mackenzie and to “really just be her cheerleaders. We are her support team,” Laura said.

Mia said she and the others had been excited for Mackenzie when they found out she was going to get to fulfill her dream of skydiving. But at the same time, Mia said, she couldn’t shake the feeling on Saturday that she needed to keep her friend in her prayers.

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