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Man in Hastings skydiving accident speaks out
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It's only been 5 weeks since Russell Webb was nearly killed by a freak and still unexplained skydiving accident.
But he says if he can pass a neurological exam at Mary Free Bed on Friday, he'll amazingly be cleared to go back to work at his law firm.
Webb says skydiving was on his bucket list.
I have wanted to skydive for quite some time, he explained to Newschannel 3.
So he planned the trip for a day his girlfriend was visiting from Memphis.
But she never even got a chance to jump.
The last thing I really remember is hanging from the wing, Webb said.
From there his knowledge of the fall is only as detailed as his girlfriend's memory.
She couldn't really see a whole lot she was just hearing what the instructor was saying, Webb said.
After Webb's chute opened, he responded to several radio commands by the ground instructor to turn left and right; then something changed.
That's when the parachute started to go into a twisting motion, he recalled. Everything was negative from that point.
He hit the ground at break neck speeds but managed to keep his intact.
He fractured his pelvis, his face, nearly bit off his tongue, and slipped into a coma.
His family gathered at the hospital, and were forced to sweat it out.
For the first two nights, the hospital was giving them some very difficult news: that I may actually perish, Webb said.
On the second day, Webb says he started to come out of his coma, but doctors responded by inducing a medical coma.
My body was so swollen, and my temp so warm, it would have been deadly, Webb said.
On his 4th day at Spectrum, things changed again.
I remember waking up and seeing, I'm not sure which nurse it was, at Spectrum, he said.
But it didn't matter. After spiraling out of the sky from 3,500 feet, he was out of the woods.
I said there must have been a case of divine intervention, Webb laughed. None of them would agree with that of course, you know, cause that's sort of contrary to medical thought!
Webb said his exam at Mary Free Bed on Friday is scheduled to last 6 hours.
After that he says it will be 10 days before he'll know whether or not he can go back to work.
We asked him if he ever wanted to try skydiving again, and he said not now, but somedayyes.
The owner of Hastings Sky Dive says if Webb ever wants to give it another go it will be on the house.