HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) – A chapter ended Friday night for the two teenage girls who were severely hurt in a Florida parasailing accident last July. Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good each reached their high school diplomas Friday night at Huntington North High School.
It was last July when the two girls were injured. It happened on July 1, 2013 while vacationing together.
The two women were part of a graduating class of about 400 students. Good and Fairchild said they were each surprised to graduate on schedule, despite last year’s accident.
“If you would have asked me 11 months ago if I was going to be here, I would have said no,” said Fairchild, who received her diploma but still has two high school classes to take this summer. “I was gathering myself and trying to figure out who I was and gather the knowledge I had before my accident.”
Good spoke with 24-Hour News 8’s sister station, WANE, for the first time since the accident before Friday’s graduation ceremony. “It’s crazy,” she said. “It still doesn’t feel real. I’m just blessed to be here.”
Good and Fairchild are still recovering from last year’s injuries. Fairchild continues to get therapy on her injured back.
Good still has vision problems. Some of them are expected to be corrected later this month when she has eye surgery. It’s been difficult for the teenager to lose her driver’s license due to her vision, within two years of earning it.
As for their next chapter, college plans are on the horizon. Fairchild plans to take a couple of classes locally before deciding where she wants to go and what she wants to study.
Good said she hopes to attend Ball State sometime in the future. However, she still has to take the SAT test, because she wasn’t able to during the school year because of her recovery.
Both women hoped that high school graduation meant the end of the label of ‘parasailing victims.’
“At first, I thought it was so cool,” Good said. “Everyone knew my name, but I’m over it now. I just want to move on from it all.”
“If I didn’t have the support that I’ve had, then I probably would have gotten a little down,” said Fairchild, who has helped change Florida law since her accident. “They helped me graduate and I’m ready to move forward with the next chapter of my life.”
Good and Fairchild has seen their friendship hit a rocky stride over the recent months, but the two realize they’ll always be connected from the tragic experience.
“We’re actually working on getting close again,” said Good. “We will always be bonded together though, because we were in a tragic accident together.”
“Things happen but go Sidney,” Fairchild said. “She’s graduating. I’m graduating. I would have never saw us getting as close as we are now.”