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Home » The Girl Who Fell From The Sky: Emma Carey (Transcript)

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky: Emma Carey (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript and summary of Emma Carey’s talk titled “The Girl Who Fell From The Sky” at TEDxCurrumbin conference.

In this TEDx talk, writer, artist, and entrepreneur Emma Carey recounts her harrowing experience of skydiving gone wrong, where she accidentally landed on her instructor and became a paraplegic. Carey shares her journey of learning to walk again and discusses the challenges faced by others with disabilities.

Listen to the audio version here:


I want to start today by asking you all to take a deep breath and close your eyes. Now, keep them closed for a minute, I’ll let you know when to open them. And I want you to imagine yourself sitting on the edge of a helicopter door with your legs dangling out into the breeze. You can see the clouds and ground below you, your heart is beating out of your chest, and your hands are shaking as you prepare to do something you’ve never done before.

Your instructor counts you down, 3, 2, 1, and suddenly you’re falling, although really it feels more like flying, and you feel more alive than ever before. You feel a tap on your shoulder, which means your parachute is about to be pulled, so you cross your arms over your chest as you’re instructed and wait to feel the jolt of the parachute slowing you down, but the jolt never comes.

You’re still falling, so you wait for your instructor to say something or to give you a high five like you’ve seen in videos, but he doesn’t speak, and he doesn’t move. You aren’t slowing down, then you see something red flash before your eyes, and your heart drops as you realize what it is, your parachute.

Instead of opening above you, it’s a tangled mess in front of you, and so you panic. You scream at the instructor now, becoming more desperate with each passing second, but all you can do is watch. You know you’re about to crash, you’re only seconds away from impact, when suddenly it hits you, not the ground, but the realization of what it means. You are about to die.

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