A Squamish woman is recovering in an Arizona hospital following a parachute accident in Phoenix.
Kenzie Markey, 32, has a long list of broken bones all over her body and a collapsed lung from the incident on April 6. No one witnessed Markey's parachute failure, but the people she was jumping with reported there was wind turbulence in the jump area at the time.
Markey's friend Kelley Richardson of Victoria is in contact with Markey's family. Richardson said Markey is an experienced jumper who did 20 jumps while she was in Phoenix through the first week of April.
"She was squeezing in one more jump before she was scheduled to come home," said Richardson from her home in Victoria.
Markey is described as an experienced jumper having completed more 100 parachute jumps.
"She's a crazy extreme person," said Richardson.
Some of Markey's family members from Nova Scotia are with her in Phoenix as she recovers. According to Richardson, the American medical bills are increasing with the total owing at well over $500,000 following three surgeries to deal with her collapsed lung and to relieve pressure from internal bleeding.
"Her insurance isn't covering the costs because of the extreme nature of the sport of parachuting," said Richardson.
To help cover the mounting medical bills, Richardson launched an online fundraising campaign. So far, more than $6,000 has been raised through the campaign at Fundrazr.com.
Richardson said Markey's family members are working at this point to transport Markey back to B.C. by air ambulance as soon as she is stable enough to make the flight.
"The air ambulance will cost between $25,000 and $45,000 just to get her back to Canada," said Richardson.
Richardson said Markey, an electrician, recently moved from Pemberton to Squamish. Richardson described Markey as a person who loved Whistler, extreme sports and snowmobile riding in the Sea to Sky corridor.
Check back with Pique for more details as this story evolves.
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