A teenager has relived the terrifying moment she escaped death in a freak accident – falling 15 meters down a cliff after her hammock burst.
Mackenzie Rackliff, 18, is fortunate to be alive after a sudden and horrific “free fall” into the ocean in Hawaii in October.
WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: Teen survives horrible fall after hammock splits.
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The student was walking with a friend on the coast near the small town of Pepeekeo when she hung up her hammock to enjoy the view.
Although I checked the sling before boarding, the fabric broke in two, causing Mackenzie to fall into the water.
She sustained serious injuries and was told she could have been paralyzed if she moved incorrectly.
Mackenzie, from Orlando, Florida, is now on the mend – and says she’s going back to a hammock.
But first she must pay mounting medical bills, already more than $220,000 ($340,000+).
The teenager said she had owned the hammock for a few years prior to the fatal accident and would always inspect it for damage before using it.
“I really trusted that,” she said.
“It’s really heartbreaking to see how that ended for me.”
Mackenzie says she was on FaceTime with a friend when “suddenly the hammock ripped from underneath” and she “fell right out.”
“I hit the ground and started rolling, but there wasn’t anything to grab onto, so I started falling free,” she said.
“I remember one of those movie moments – I looked up at the blue sky and I was like, ‘Well, that’s it.’
“I really thought I was going to die.”
Mackenzie fell 15 meters into the water, narrowly dodging some rocks, but was knocked out.
“My friend I was with thought I was dead because I was unconscious in the water for a few minutes,” she said.
“Luckily I missed the boulders at the bottom of the cliff.
“But when I regained consciousness and realized that I was being swept away by the tide, I had to make an immediate decision about what to do.
“I just thought, ‘No, I’m not drowning, I don’t want to go like that’.”
Badly injured – and losing blood quickly – the teen managed to crawl onto the boulders, where she attempted to take stock of her injuries.
“My arm was so broken it was sticking out the side of my arm,” she said.
“I’ve never seen a bone before. My knee was also completely ruptured through the muscle, it was completely torn apart.”
Despite her condition, the quick-thinking Mackenzie used her top and bikini thongs to slow her extreme blood loss while waiting for an ambulance to rescue her.
“While I was waiting down there, I was really trying to do everything I could to keep my body from going into shock,” she said.
“I knew if I lost control it wasn’t going to end very well for me.
“So I started singing to myself — all my favorites from Pitbull, Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj — to keep me going until the chopper got me.”
An ambulance arrived after 40 minutes and an hour after her fall, Mackenzie was on the way to the hospital.
Medics told her she had fractured her left arm, hand and ankles and was undergoing muscle reconstruction at the knee.
She also fractured eight vertebrae, so she needed a spinal fusion and two rods and 10 screws in her back.
On October 11, two weeks after her accident, Mackenzie was cleared to fly and she went home to Orlando to continue her recovery.
But now she’s facing a staggering $223,000 (nearly $350,000) bill for her treatment and has launched a fundraiser to try and cover the costs.
Despite her severe injuries, Mackenzie doesn’t let the near-death experience stop her from living her life.
“It was really painful, but the doctors said they had never seen anyone recover so quickly,” she said.
“I will be returning to Hawaii to study microbiology with a minor in Spanish in the new year.
“I was originally supposed to go to the University of Southern Florida, but when I went to Hawaii I just fell in love with her.
“I probably won’t use a hammock for a while, but that won’t stop my adventurous spirit.
“At the end of the day, putting that hammock there was a calculated risk and it just ended very unhappily at the time.
“I struggled a bit with death, but I defeated it and I will get on with my life.”
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https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/teen-plunges-15-metres-off-cliff-in-heartbreaking-hammock-mishap-c-8733758 Teen falls 15 meters off cliff in ‘heartbreaking’ hammock mishap