Chesterfield teen paralyzed in Panama back in Virginia

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The Chesterfield County teenager who became paralyzed after a freak accident in Central America is now back in the United States.

Kasey Crute, an 18-year old University of Virginia student and Matoaca High School graduate, was flown home today via air ambulance.  The teen landed in Charlottesville and was rushed to UVA Medical Center where doctors will work to repair damage to her back and spinal discs.

On March 10, during a spring break volunteer trip to El Entradero, Panama Crute was swimming in a watering hole with children from the community.  She had been jumping in and out of the water.  Her aunt said she jumped off a mound and surfaced face down.

Two men pulled her out of the water, strapped her on a piece of wood and rushed her to a Panama City hospital eight hours away.

For about three weeks Crute was in and out of surgery.  The teen broke her back and shattered the disc that connects her neck to her spine.  She is paralyzed from the chest down.

Friends from Chesterfield and UVA have set up a website where people can donate to the family that is facing mounting medical bills.

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