Student involved in major diving accident, schoolmates show support


Kayleigh Moreland

Students gather in the pit for a group photo in support of senior Mayten Lumpkin, who was involved in a diving accident Saturday.

Story by Ricky Cooks, indepth editor

No one could have anticipated that this weekend would be different than all the rest. The sun was shining, the air was warm and there was a pervading sense of free-spirited happiness. No one could have known what would happen to senior Mayten Lumpkin after he performed a simple dive on a Saturday afternoon.

While swimming at a friend’s house, Lumpkin dived into the shallow end of the pool, leading to him hitting his head at the bottom, compressing his neck and shattering his vertebrae in three different locations.

“Normally, we always start in my yard and run across and see how far we can jump into the pool,” senior Connor Anderson said. “Normally, we jump feet first, but [Lumpkin] jumped in head first. I guess the angle he went in, the water shifted his direction straight down, so instead of gliding out, he hit straight with the top of his head.”

Lumpkin, unable to move from the neck down, was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Frightened by the unfortunate accident, his friends that witnessed the event were unsure of his status and how bad his condition truly was.

“Connor [Anderson] was supporting his back and Rachel [Sorenson] was supporting his head,” junior Jera Davis said. “We wouldn’t let him out of the pool because it might have caused permanent damage. He couldn’t feel anything from his collarbones down and we all thought he was going to die with us holding onto him.”

Lumpkin went into an extensive surgery on Sunday to remove pressure from his spine. He was airlifted to Dallas for the procedure, and it was a general success.

According to a Facebook post yesterday from Mayten’s mother, Missy Lumpkin, “Mayten [had] his first [physical therapy] session. He was amazing!”

Mayten’s friends and family have showed constant support on social media and on campus. Students decided to wear yellow–the color of Lumpkin’s truck–yesterday to encourage a quick and speedy recovery.

“[Mayten and I] have been friends for the longest time, and I just wanted to make sure he knows how much he is loved throughout Texas High,” senior Karlee Post said. “I wanted to do a huge picture of all of us [wearing yellow] to literally bring light to his situation, and give Mayten a reminder how many people are praying for him and supporting him.”

Out of surgery and in recovery, Lumpkin is expected to return to school in the future.

“There are no words to even begin to tell you how blessed and thankful we feel,” Missy Lumpkin wrote. “He has a long road and it will be tough but he can and will do it. With all your help and all your prayers we will beat this!”