D.C.

Carolina Alcalde paralyzed after tree falls on her during storm

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Many people were injured by falling trees and debris during Friday's storm, but one woman who was caught in the storm while riding her motorcycle is now paralyzed after a tree fell on her near Meridian Hill Park in Northwest Washington.

Family members say that as Carolina Alcalde was riding home while the powerful storm rolled in when a massive pine tree snapped in two and fell across her spine. Her spine was crushed and her spinal cord was severed, meaning the 38-year-old is now paralyzed from the waist down.

"She knows she has no feeling in her legs," Victor Alcalde, Carolina's father, said. "She was able to see her toes and feet but she couldn't feel them."

However, doctors have not broken the news of her paralysis to her yet.

"That will be the hardest part to address with her," Victor said.

Victor says that two things saved Carolina's life: the fact that she was wearing a helmet and the quick work of two Good Samaritans who dragged the tree off her back and called an ambulance.

"I want to find them (and) give my thanks to them," he said. "She would be dead. To me, it's a miracle that she's still alive."

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