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Jeremy Gaston/Herald-Chronicle
Nicole Smith, Atlanta, land her final state Saturday at Skydive Kansas in Osage City, completing a skydiving tour of all 50 states.

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Jeremy Gaston | Editor

OSAGE CITY—The final page of Nicole Smith’s comeback story was written Saturday morning at Skydive Kansas in Osage City. Smith, Atlanta, completed skydives in all 50 states, touching down with her first jump in Kansas just before noon.

“It’s an amazing experience,” Smith said. “I feel accomplished. I finished the goal I set for myself.”

The goal was her response to an emotional and physical whiplash of the last two years. Smith lost her husband in January of 2010. She had made four tandem jumps in previous years, and decided to commit to the sport and earn her solo a-license the following year.
She started a new chapter of her life with skydiving and instructor Jeremy Martson. Six months later it was over. Smith and Martson were on their way home from a datewhen their car was struck by another, which had run a red light at 65 mph.

Smith went to the hospital in critical condition. Martson was killed.
“With the injuries I sustained – a broken neck, broken back, two broken ribs, four pelvic fractures, two brain injuries and a broken tail bone – (my parents) were told I would never be able to walk again, and in the off-chance I did, it would always be with a walker or some type of assistance,” Smith said. “They didn’t know if I’d be able to have a normal conversation again.”

Smith spent 11 days in the hospital and eight months in recovery and rehabilitation. As soon as she could, she was back in the sky.

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