Paraplegic veteran survives freak skydiving accident after parachute gets stuck in wheelchair

For the second time in his life, Michael Vasquez is thankful to be alive.

On August 13, Vasquez’s parachute got tangled in his wheelchair and his reserve parachute did not release. The U.S. veteran and licensed skydiver had to rely on a partially detached, semi-inflated parachute as he raced towards the ground near McKinney, Texas.

Michael Vasquez, a paraplegic skydiver, took the dive of a lifetime last week when his parachute got caught in the tire…

Posted by Medical City McKinney on Thursday, August 19, 2021

“The tangled parachute slowed me down and I landed at about 12 miles per hour. It saved my life,” Vasquez said. “I hit the ground and I could feel the impact. I knew not to move from the position that I landed and waited for emergency help to arrive.”

Vasquez, who lost use of both of his legs while serving in the Middle East in 2009, survived the fall, but not without injury.

He was transported to Medical City McKinney, a Level III Trauma Center, where he was diagnosed with a femur fracture after the accident and multiple spinal fractures.

After minimally invasive surgery and rehab, doctors are positive that he’ll be able to return to his regular active lifestyle within a few months.

Despite the potentially near-death experience and his injuries, Vasquez is ready to skydive again.

“I am ready to get back to where I was before this accident with strength training, core exercises and cycling several hours a day,” he said.

What a terrifying experience! And then to want to get right back in to skydiving! I wish Michael a speedy recovery.

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