Girl Asked to Leave Water Park Because Her Prosthetic Leg Could Ruin the Slide (VIDEO)

Averie Mitchell, of Oklahoma, is an 8-year-old gymnast on a competitive team. She and her family went to Frontier City's Wild West Water Works to enjoy their summer. What ended up happening, however, is very upsetting. Averie has a prosthetic leg, and after climbing to the top to go down a waterslide, the attendant told Averie she couldn't go down the slide because of her prosthetic.


Despite her prosthetic, Averie can do so much. She had a condition at birth that caused her right leg to have to be amputated below the knee. She has fully adapted to her prosthetic. As I mentioned, she is on a competitive gymnastic team and can do cartwheels on the balance beam. Very impressive for any kid. So why was she denied access to the slide? And why wasn't the family park more accommodating?

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This heartbreaking story began at the top of that slide when the attendant wouldn't allow Averie to go down. As Averie and her mom were made to walk back down, Averie began crying. Mom Kim was angry and upset -- and I would have felt the same way. Seeing your child cry for being discriminated against because of a disability has to be completely heartbreaking. It was explained to them that they were afraid Averie's prosthetic would scratch the slide. Those in charge at the park claimed it was their policy. Averie's dad John noted that people wear rings, bracelets, and watches as they go down the slide, which could cause scratching. And he also said that there was no clear outline on any sign saying that prosthetics are not allowed.

In the center of this all is an 8-year-old girl who just came to the water park to have fun with her family. It seems to me that the park didn't have her best interests in mind. It's a park for families to enjoy, not to single out children and prevent them from having fun. While I understand they need to protect their equipment, I feel that something could have been done instead of escorting them out of the park.

I feel as if there could have been a solution. What about a covering for Averie's prosthetic? That should have been Frontier City's statement on the matter -- that they are working with a team to develop something to help children with prosthetics experience the park. Not a sorry-you-can't-have-fun-here-because-it-will-ruin-our-slide response. This child deserves more. Maybe a prosthetic company will read this and have a solution -- maybe there already is one that I am unaware of, something that can help Averie and kids like her enjoy water parks like everyone else.

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Remember: Averie went through the park, paid the entry fee (they were later reimbursed), walked to the slide -- the first slide she wanted to go down. She experienced the excitement of climbing each step to the top, ready to go down, to have that thrill and fun. These are the memories of childhood. These are the times that kids talk about when they start school in the fall -- they relive those incredible moments of summer. But Averie was told no. She was told that her prosthetic is to blame for why she couldn't have this experience, this fun, the fun that all the other children were allowed to have. She and her family were humiliated; this is a case of discrimination. Where are people's hearts?

Averie may face a lot of challenges in her life that other children may not face. She has already overcome so much at the young age of 8. She's an inspiration and a role model. Frontier City should learn from her.


Image via KFOR

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