Woman paralyzed after diving accident in Collier County

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
The Schroder sisters (Photo courtesy of family)

Life may never be the same for a woman who was injured after diving off a boat in Collier County.

“She’s probably not going to be able to walk again but I know her and I doubt she’ll accept that,” said Katelyn Scott.

Right now, 18-year-old Eden Schroder is in the hospital, paralyzed from the chest down.

Her family is doing everything they can to stay strong.

“She’s the one in the hospital bed and she’s the one telling me not to cry, it’s going to be OK,” said Peyton Schroder, Eden’s younger sister.

A day on the water near Keewaydin Island, south of Naples, took a tragic turn.

“My first reaction was just shock … when they told me she was in a lot of pain and she couldn’t feel her legs,” Peyton said.

“Since my mom is a single mother … she [Eden] has always been like a second parent to me.”

Eden, a student at Florida State University, was visiting friends in Naples on Friday when she dove into shallow water. She was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital.

“Getting that first call … and having to, you know, alert everyone in the family was just heartbreaking,” Peyton said.

Eden’s mother is staying with her at the hospital.

“It’s one of the most severe spinal injuries they’ve ever seen,” Peyton said.

“As of right now they’re still saying she’s probably not going to be able to walk again,” Scott said.

But those close to Eden, like Scott, her co-worker and a family friend, have hope.

“When something happens to someone here, it happens to all of us,” she said.

“This isn’t going to end anything for her; she will fight to do whatever she has to do regardless of the situation.”

Eden’s family says she’s speaking, and in the past couple of days, she’s been able to move her hands. They say she’s staying positive and that heartfelt messages from friends and loved ones are keeping her spirits high.

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