Parasailing victim Alexis Fairchild on road to recovery at rehabilitation facility in Indianapolis

Father: 'She's in good hands here'

INDIANAPOLIS - The road to recovery could be long and arduous for Alexis Fairchild, one of two teens from Indiana seriously injured in a parasailing incident in Florida earlier this month.

Fairchild is now at Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis, closer to her northern Indiana home.

At a news conference Friday, Alexis' father, Mike Fairchild said his daughter "still has a long way to go."

Fairchild and her friend, Sidney Good, were parasailing at Panama City Beach, Fla., on July 1 when the line from their parasail snapped, slamming both 17-year-old girls into the side of a condominium, a power line and a parked car.

Fairchild suffered broken bones in the upper part of her spine, a skull fracture and a brain injury.

The prognosis for Fairchild is still a bit uncertain. Doctors are not sure how long she will be at RHI.

"I really don't know how long she's going to be here, but I feel like she's in good hands here," Fairchild said.

Doctors are doing assessments to see what Alexis' capabilities are and what her immediate and long-term needs may be.

"She's going to be working very hard for us," said Lisa Lombard, RHI's medical director.

Alexis has not talked much about what she has been through.

"She hasn't talked a whole lot about it, because it's tragedy, you know," Fairchild said. "In time, she'll be able to speak more on that."

The injury has been difficult for the Fairchild family, but they are staying positive.

"I feel blessed. The doctors said they could not believe she was up walking as fast as she was," Fairchild said.

Rehabilitation specialists expect to know soon how long Alexis will need to stay in Indianapolis.

A fundraiser has been set up for the girls at www.giveforward.com (mobile users click http://bit.ly/1b52P8C )

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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