Medical bills soar for B.C. skydiver following accident
Published Sunday, April 20, 2014 5:43PM PDT
Last Updated Sunday, April 20, 2014 6:46PM PDT
A 32-year-old B.C. woman is facing huge medical bills after a skydiving accident despite having travel insurance. Kenzie Markey, who lives in Squamish, was skydiving in Phoenix Arizona when a jump went horribly wrong. On Markey’s final run of the day, her parachute collapsed in mid-air and she plummeted to the ground.
“That week she’d done about 20 jumps and she decided to fit in one last jump before flying back to Canada,” Markey’s friend Kelley Richardson told CTV News.
Richardson heard about the accident from Markey’s father and said her friend’s injuries are extensive; Markey has now been in a Phoenix hospital for two weeks.
“She’s got a fractured femur, foot, pelvis, skull, eye socket, nose, elbow and a collapsed lung,” Richardson said.
Though Markey is in stable condition, her mother Sherry MacKenzie Jennson finds it difficult to watch her daughter recover in hospital.
“It’s very tough and there’s nothing you can do to help them. You can’t take their place,” she said.
Since Markey’s insurance plan does not cover extreme sports, her medical costs will likely exceed $500,000. Markey’s insurance plan with TD Insurance states that “no benefit will be payable in connection with … hazardous activities” which includes skydiving.
Richardson started an online petition to help cover Markey’s growing expenses. After one week the fundraiser had raised more than $13,000.
Despite the community support, Markey’s father Joe is finding it difficult to fathom the total cost of her recovery.
“I can’t get my head around that number at all really. It’s just something we're going to have to tackle after we get her back to Canada and get her stabilized,” he said.
It will cost around $30,000 to have Markey transported in her condition back to Vancouver.
Richardson said it will be tough for her active friend to get back to her usual routine.
“She’s an avid snowmobiler and snowboarder and mountain biker and surfer, so I know it’s going to be a long time before she starts doing that again,” Richardson said.
While the road to recovery will likely be a long one, Markey’s friends are grateful for the financial contributions from strangers and friends alike.
“[The] support’s been great,” Richardson said. “[It’s a] huge relief that everyone is being so supportive.”
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Scott Roberts