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Woman paralyzed while playing mock Hunger Games receives new wheelchair

Published: Wednesday, July 18 2012 7:09 p.m. MDT

Tere Parra, right,  hugs Katie Terry-Corbridge after receiving her  donated titanium wheelchair  in Provo Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Parra was visiting from Mexico, fell from a tree and is now paralyzed. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Tere Parra, right, hugs Katie Terry-Corbridge after receiving her donated titanium wheelchair in Provo Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Parra was visiting from Mexico, fell from a tree and is now paralyzed. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO — She suffered a devastating injury after falling from a tree at Big Springs Park in Provo in early June while playing a mock version of "Hunger Games."

Tere Parra is paralyzed from the waist down, but nothing can stop her from smiling.

Wednesday at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, she met Katie Terry-Corbridge, who gave her donated medical supplies, a check for $3,400 and a brand-new titanium wheelchair.

Parra has been practicing balance in another chair and had to use a lot of strength to do wheelies. “When I sit in this chair, I was just trying to go forward and it just wheelied,” she said. “It’s super-light. I like it.”

Terry-Corbridge heard about Parra from news stories. She was in an accident 10 years ago and is also paralyzed. She’s with Sports Abilities, a national organization with resources for people with disabilities to find recreation, advocacy, support and sporting activities in the nation. She said she just wanted to make a difference and help Parra out with learning some of the things she had to learn over the years.

Tere Parra tries out her  donated titanium wheelchair  in Provo Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Parra was visiting from Mexico, fell from a tree and is now paralyzed. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Tere Parra tries out her donated titanium wheelchair in Provo Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Parra was visiting from Mexico, fell from a tree and is now paralyzed. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

“I’m helping someone see the light at the end of the tunnel that much faster,” she said. “More than anything, I just wanted her to know that there’s so many people behind her.”

Parra said she was really grateful for all the help. “I don’t know what to do to pay her back,” she said.

A donation page has been set up to garner support for Parra, with a goal of raising $100,000 to help offset medical costs. As of Wednesday, 219 donors had raised $27,151.

Parra was in Utah visiting her sister, Eva Daniels, when the accident happened in Provo Canyon. She broke three ribs, her eye socket and two vertebrae in her back. 

She will remain at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center until next week and then will do physical therapy twice a day.

Tere Parra smiles as she tries out her newly donated titanium wheelchair in Provo Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Parra was visiting from Mexico, fell from a tree and is now paralyzed. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Tere Parra smiles as she tries out her newly donated titanium wheelchair in Provo Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Parra was visiting from Mexico, fell from a tree and is now paralyzed. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

“She’s gonna have hard days, and it makes it better when you know that someone is behind you,” Terry-Corbridge said.

E-mail: vvo-duc@ksl.com

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