GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A recent high school graduate from Gwinnett County may never walk again. A terrible swimming accident last Friday seriously injured the teenager.
Eden Schroeder is now a student at Florida State University.
Her sister, Peyton, told FOX 5 she was spending one last weekend with friends before coming home for winter break.
Eden unknowingly dove headirst into shallow water during a boating trip, her sister said.
"She's really scared, and she doesn't know what's going to happen next," Peyton explained. She shared a picture of the 18-year-old inside a Florida hospital.
After the accident, an air ambulance flew the 2020 North Gwinnett High School graduate to the hospital where she underwent emergency surgery.
Peyton went on to say she "...hit her head and obviously injured her back and neck very severely. I was the first person to get called because her friends didn't have my mom's number. I was just praying like 'God, please let her be okay.'"
Right now, Eden remains in the ICU with their mother by her side.
The severity of her injuries could leave the college freshmen paralyzed for the rest of her life.
"She has had a little feeling in her hands and arms like she can clinch a fist, and she can move her arms up and down slightly. She cannot bend them."
Peyton said Eden also can't move her legs.
Along with the burden of her recovery, the family also is trying to piece together how they'll pay for Eden’s extensive medical bills including transferring her to a spinal cord injury rehab center here in Georgia.
"We want to be able to get the best treatment and go through all the options. We're not gonna give up by any means," Peyton told FOX 5's Brian Hill.
While the journey ahead will be long and difficult, the family still hopes Eden will come out on the other side fully healed.
"She's strong. She's a fighter. She'll be able to do it," Peyton proclaimed.
Friends of the family set up a fundraiser to help with Eden’s recovery. If you'd like to help, click here.
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.