‘I cheated death after falling 50ft off a cliff when my hammock split open’

A teenager has "cheated death" after plunging 50ft down the side of a cliff when her hammock split.

Mackenzie Rackliff, 18, was on FaceTime to a pal from a laid back position, hanging above the ground in Hawaii before thinking "well this is it".

"I really thought I was going to die," Mackenzie recalled as she plummeted into the sea where she survived unconscious for a few minutes.

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On waking up, the teenager from Orlando, Florida, US, swam the short distance to a boulder and used her bikini top to slow down her bleeding but is now faced with jaw-dropping medical bills.

The volunteer had been walking along the coast near Pepeekeo when she hung up her hammock to take in the view.

But, despite checking the sling before getting in, the fabric split in two – sending Mackenzie into the water below.

She suffered horror injuries and was told she could have paralysed herself if she moved in the wrong way.

Mackenzie is now on the road to recovery and says she would get in a hammock again.

But the student's medical bills are already more than £194,000 which she can't afford so a fundraiser has been launched.

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She said: "I've had the hammock for a couple of years.

"I would always inspect it for damage before I used it and I really trusted it. It's really heartbreaking to see how that ended for me.

"I was on FaceTime with my friend from home. Then all of a sudden the hammock ripped from the bottom and I fell straight out.

"I hit the ground and started rolling, but there was nothing to grab onto so I started free falling.

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"I remember having one of those movie moments, I was looking at the blue sky and thought 'well this is it'."

Mackenzie fell 50ft into the water below, narrowly avoiding some rocks.

She said: "My friend that I was with thought I was dead, because I was unconscious in the water for a few minutes.

"Thankfully, I missed the boulders at the bottom of the cliff.

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"But, when I regained consciousness and realised I was being pulled out by the tide, I had to immediately decide what I wanted to do.

"I just thought 'no I'm not drowning, this isn't how I want to go'. So I crawled onto the boulders and did an assessment of my injuries.

"My arm was so broken it was sticking out the side of my arm.

"I've never seen a bone before. My knee had also completely busted through the muscle, it was completely torn apart."

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Mackenzie used her top and bikini strings to slow down her extreme blood loss while she waited for an air ambulance to save her.

She said: "Whilst I was waiting down there I genuinely was trying to do anything to keep my body from going into shock. I knew if I lost control it wouldn't end very well for me.

"So I started singing to myself, all my favourites from Pitbull, Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj, to keep me going until the helicopter got the me."

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An air ambulance arrived after 40 minutes and, an hour after she fell, Mackenzie was on her way to hospital.

Medics then said Mackenzie had broken her left arm, her hand, knuckles and had to have a muscular reconstruction on her knee.

She had also broken eight vertebrae, so she had to have a spinal fusion and have two rods and 10 screws put in her back.

She said: "I had a little run in with death, but I beat it and I'm going to continue to live my life."


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