Local Woman Falls, Survives Tennessee Waterfall Accident

Jazmen Claypool
Posted 9/21/21

At the beginning of September, Kim Hembree, a 36-year-old woman and mother of six, from Appleton City, Missouri was on vacation in Tennessee. She was enjoying a wonderful bike ride with her husband …

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Local Woman Falls, Survives Tennessee Waterfall Accident

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At the beginning of September, Kim Hembree, a 36-year-old woman and mother of six, from Appleton City, Missouri was on vacation in Tennessee. She was enjoying a wonderful bike ride with her husband on the trail known as the Fiery Gizzard, which consists of a few waterfalls throughout a 12-mile trail and is overall beautiful. As many others do Mrs. Hembree was trying to capture the beauty that surrounded her and wanted to take a picture from the top of the waterfall that they were on, Mrs. Hembree had said that the waterfall was well dry at this time, so she walked out towards the edge and began snapping pictures. Mrs. Hembree told me that her husband was wary of her doing it and had told her to “get back and turn around” as she was doing so, she slipped off the edge and fell 35-40 feet down. Her husband immediately began calling for help and was making his way down the waterfall embankment down to her, she said that “my husband looked down and said that I wasn’t moving at all but by time he had made it down to me I was beginning to moan.” A few people had heard her husband’s cries for help and began helping anyway they could. Mrs. Hembree’s husband immediately took his shirt off to try and stop the bleeding from a gash in her face and bystanders helped carry her out of the water because she couldn’t support her own weight. After getting to the hospital, she was informed that her right ankle and right leg were both shattered and that the bone that holds the Achilles’ tendon in place was in pieces, on her right ankle. She had fractured her L5 vertebrae in the process as well. To fix her leg, she had to have bone grafts taken from the top of her leg to reconstruct the bone in her ankle, and her leg needed 2 plates and 15 screws put in. Her nose had been smashed into her skull due to her hitting a fallen tree at the bottom of the waterfall, doctors said that the tree is probably the only reason she didn’t die because it’s a lot softer than rocks. The swelling was so bad in her face that they waited a week to perform surgery on her and they feared that if infection took hold it would go to her brain. Currently she is back home, she is covered completely with bruises and scratches, she can’t use her right wrist and for the next 12 weeks she is in a permanent cast. Mrs. Hembree said, “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone at all, I can’t do anything by myself, I can’t even use the bathroom by myself, it’s awful.” After the accident occurred Mrs. Hembree done a bit of research on that trail and she found out that a total of 5 people had died from falling on that trail, she said “ I don’t know what I did to make God choose me to stay alive, I’m a girl from the country, it really makes me think what am I supposed to do now but I’m so thankful that I’m alive right now” Mrs. Hembree recently lost her job as well and has a go fund me page set up for donations (https://gofund.me/f3768480 )

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