05/06/2014 11:49 EDT | Updated 07/06/2014 05:59 EDT

Hair-hanging circus acrobat wants to return to ring after fall at Rhode island performance

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - One of the eight circus acrobats who plummeted about 20 feet to the ground during a hair-hanging stunt in Rhode Island says she's thankful she's alive and wants to return to the ring.

Samantha Pitard was released from a hospital Tuesday, two days after the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus accident. The others are still hospitalized.

She tells The Associated Press she is the only one of the troupe who can walk on her own but the others are expected to fully recover. She says everyone is in good spirits.

The native of Champaign, Illinois, says all circus performers know they risk their lives during every performance and they love it enough to take that risk to make people happy.

She says she wants to rejoin the tour and show the world she's OK.