David Hartsock Skydive Hero

What would you do?  Imagine you’re a tandem skydiving instructor.  You’re free-falling through the air at 110 miles per hour while strapped to a first-time jumper, and both of your parachutes fail.  David was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for someone he’d just met.  That decision has left him a quadriplegic for the rest of his life.

Because of his condition he needs 24-hour care.  David's greatest problem is financial.  Along with nursing care there is the cost of medical supplies.  To help David you can make a donation here. 

On August 1, 2009 tandem skydiving instructor David Hartsock and his fifty-four-year-old novice jumper were falling fast from five thousand feet.  The main parachute malfunctioned causing them to go into a violent spin.  Unable to cut away the main parachute David was forced to deploy the reserve parachute which immediately got tangled with the main.

David then made a fateful decision.  He pulled on the control toggles to place himself directly beneath his student. They hit the ground at approximately 40-60 miles per hour.  David was Life-Flighted to Memorial Hermann hospital with several life-threatening injuries.  While his student was able to walk away despite her injuries.

 After the accident, David spent the next 6 months going from ICU and to rehab at TIRR. He was finally able to return home in mid-February 2010.  At that time, his insurance provided RN’s 24-hour a day.  Unfortunately, on April 1st 2010 his insurance coverage ended.  While rehab has been slow there has been a little progress.

 The cause of the malfunction was unclear.  David began skydiving in 2004.  At the time of his accident in 2009, he had earned his A,B,C, and D license, his Coach’s rating, Tandem Master rating, and had made over 800 jumps.

For more information about the accident go to: The July 28, 2014 Sports Illustrated article written by Chris Ballard    http://www.si.com/edge/2014/07/28/skydiving-accident-unifies-pair-forever
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Organizer and beneficiary

David E Hartsock 
Lakewood Forest, TX
Viki A Hartsock 
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