Skydiver Gets A Smile
Within seconds Shayna landed on asphalt face first. To everyone's shock she survived.
"I shattered almost every bone in my face," she explained. "Knocked out the front 5 teeth in the mouth. Broke my pelvis in three places. Broke my right leg. How come you're alive? There is no real good explanation other than the pure love and work of God that I'm alive."
In the emergency room doctors stunned the battered Shayna with the news she was two weeks pregnant. The hope of a healthy baby is what pulled her through all the operations to try to make her look like she used to. Doctors even used metal plates to replace pieces of fractured skull to support her eye and hold her face together. Still, Shayna was left with no front teeth which she called her worst injury of all.
Voorhees, New Jersey dentist Alan Meltzer heard about how Shayna's medical bills had bankrupt her. How she married her boyfriend Rick and had her healthy baby Tanner and wanted nothing more than to get her smile back.
"It was something I was able to do," Meltzer said. "And sometimes there's nothing wrong with stepping up and just doing what you think is the right thing."
Using high tech CT scans, Dr. Meltzer first plotted Shayna's dental implant surgery on the computer, making sure to avoid the orange metal plates in her face.
"We actually made the jawbone disappear and then we can look at where we placed the implants in order to make sure we have adequate clearance in all directions from all the plates," Meltzer said.
Getting five implants like this would cost around $30,000. Dr. Meltzer donated the smile to Shayna. You would think after everything Shayna has been through she'd certainly never go skydiving again. Think again.
"I had to do it again just to show that I can," Richardson said. "To show the parachute who's boss."
But she plans to keep her feet on the ground now with baby Tanner.
"Holding him is more of a thrill than jumping out of any airplane," she said. "Any mom will agree holding that little baby is way more precious."
Shayna says she hopes some day little Tanner will grow up and want to jump from an airplane too.