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A South Texas woman was paralyzed this weekend when severe turbulence struck her Continental Airlines flight, according to officials.

The unidentified woman, 47, sustained a fractured neck when she was thrown against the ceiling while in the airplane restroom.

Doctors spent six hours operating on her back Saturday which left her paralyzed from the chest down. It is unclear at this time if the paralysis would be permanent, Dr. Trey Fulp, an orthopedic spine surgeon at McAllen Medical Center said.

Doctors are planning to operate on her neck today.

Two others – a passenger and crew member – were taken to a local hospital where they were treated and released.

A Continental Airlines spokeswoman said the seat belt signs were illuminated when the flight first experienced severe turbulence as the aircraft descended into McAllen.

The flight, which carried 104 passengers and five crew members, was delayed three hours because of thunderstorms.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating, officials said. #

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