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Natalie Wilson broke her back and ribs, as well as suffered damage to her spine, after a sledding accident, according to her family

By Gabrielle Chung
February 26, 2021 11:25 PM
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Natalie Wilson
Credit: gofundme

A 17-year-old girl in Ohio has been partially paralyzed after a sledding accident on a hill that recently took the life of another teenager.

Natalie Wilson broke her back and ribs, as well as suffered damage to her spine, during a sledding accident at Hinckley Reservation in Medina County on Sunday night, according to her family.

"I was sitting watching TV and I got a call from her almost immediately after it happened, screaming 'I can't feel my legs, I can't feel my legs," her father, Jim Wilson, recalled to WEWS-TV.

The teen was on her final trip down a hill when her sled slid out of control, her dad said.

Natalie had a "complete break" in her T5 and T6 spinal vertebrae, and "did some severe injury to the spine, putting her right now, we're hoping, in a temporary state of paralysis," Jim told the news station.

hinckley Coasting Hill

She was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, according to a GoFundMe campaign created in support of her family.

Natalie, who is one of 10 children in her family, is "in good spirits, but has little to no feeling from the chest down," the description on the page said.

As of Friday, the fundraiser has raised over $15,000 out of its $25,000 goal.

Natalie's accident came just a day after another teenager was severely injured while sledding down the same hill.

Eirelyn Zuercher, 14, suffered "detrimental brain injury" after a sledding accident at Hinckley Reservation, according to her mother Katie Dougherty Zuercher.

Eirelyn Zuercher
Eirelyn Zuercher died while sledding on the same hill
| Credit: Zuercher Family

Eirelyn was taken off life support on Wednesday night and her organs were donated to five different people, Dougherty Zuercher said on Facebook.

"Her spirit lives on through the gift of organ donation," Dougherty Zuercher wrote. "I can not tell you how much your support has meant to me these past few days. Thank you for sitting with me in this grief and holding space for my family. Your presence, even from afar, helps me feel less alone through all of this. Thank you."

A spokesperson for Cleveland Metroparks, which operates Hinckley Reservation, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

A representative for the department told the Akron Beacon Journal in a statement on Monday, "Our thoughts are with the families impacted by the sledding incidents that occurred over the weekend. We are looking into the incidents and the circumstances around these tragic events."

Hinckley Fire Chief Jestin Grossenbaugh told the outlet on Friday that the park will remain open.

"We thought they were going to close it down; they did not close it down," he said. "They were telling me the CEO was going to call but never did and then later in the day I heard they were not going to shut the hill down, and that's where we were with communications with the Metroparks."