Critically injured skydiver talks about his road to recovery

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - An eastern Kentucky man critically injured last month in a skydiving accident in Mississippi is now back in the bluegrass recovering.

The Paintsville native talked to us on Thursday for the first time from Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington where he's now recovering.

For 26-year-old David Meek, a quick stroll down the hospital hallway is a start.

“Today is the first day I’m in a wheelchair and I got to move around. I got to feel the sun on my cheeks and it’s a big step today,” David Meek told us Thursday.

Thursday was a big step for the man who fell more than three miles to the ground and lived to tell the tale. Last month, Meek was involved in a tragic skydiving accident off the Mississippi Coast.

“I remember falling through the clouds and it was beautiful and fun and then all of the sudden a nightmare happens. I hit the ground so hard I made a hole in the ground about three feet wide and four feet deep. I had mud and dirt all over me and I had to dig myself out because it was smothering me.”

Despite suffering extensive injuries, Meek says he was mostly worried about his instructor who was strapped onto him, 56-year-old James Horak.

“I ended up breaking my ribs, both my jaws, and my chin and paralyzing myself. The guy who jumped with me died and I laid there with him for five hours after.”

Meek says if they would've been stuck any longer, he would've lost his life as well. “If it was 15 to 30 minutes later I probably wouldn’t be here.”

But the fact that he is here, the fact that he survived, has earned him the nickname David "The Miracle" Meek.

He now hopes that his ability to turn adversity into accomplishments will serve as an inspiration to others.

“I hope something like this will inspire someone to do better in their life rather than waiting until the last minute like I did.”

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