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Girl who lost feet on park ride takes first steps

/ Source: The Associated Press

A teenager whose feet were severed on an amusement park ride has taken her first steps since the gruesome accident in June, the attorney for the girl's family said.

Kaitlyn Lasitter, 14, began walking last week with the help of a prosthetic leg and crutches, attorney Larry Franklin said.

"She's so proud of herself that she has gotten around on crutches," he told The Courier-Journal of Louisville. Franklin did not immediately return a call or an e-mail from The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Doctors were able to reattach Kaitlyn's right foot after the accident on the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, but her left foot was too severely damaged to repair and had to be amputated below the knee.

Kaitlyn also has regained her appetite and some weight after the various prescription medications she takes made her sick, her family has recently said.

Kaitlyn continues to battle pain, depression and the uncertainty of what will become of her reattached right foot. Doctors have said they will not know for months if Kaitlyn's body will accept or reject it, the family said.

Kaitlyn was on the ride June 21 when a cable broke, severing her feet. The ride, which was closed after the accident, lifted passengers 177 feet, then dropped them at speeds of more than 50 mph.

"To watch our daughter continually try to overcome such extreme pain and adversity has definitely been five of the most trying months of our lives," her parents, Randy and Monique Lasitter, wrote the newspaper.

The Lasitters sued Kentucky Kingdom in July, claiming the theme park failed to maintain the ride and ensure riders' safety. A judge ruled last week that the ride can be dismantled.

Meanwhile, Kaitlyn's medical bills total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, her father said. The doctors and hospitals have agreed to wait for payment until the family's case against the theme park is resolved, Randy Lasitter said.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture, which oversees ride safety, is investigating the accident.