Broken Back

by Caryn

My boyfriend was hiking with several of his friends in November 1975. The water at that time was deep and the waterfall was flowing. He went to jump over the falls and lost his footing on the moss and went down the falls facing outward. He landed face down in the water and broke both of his legs and hips.

One of his friends went down into the water to roll him over to keep from drowning and this broke his spinal cord. My boyfriend said he could feel the loss of feeling in his legs leaving.

My boyfriend had to be helicoptered out of the area and was taken to UCLA where he underwent surgery. He has never regained the use of his legs from this accident. He is now 50 years old.

Comments for Broken Back

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Aug 07, 2009
by: Anonymous

The hike is beautiful, but please to not try to climb to the top. We live near the waterfall and constantly rescue people that have gone too far. Many people fall and have had to be helicoptered out, hopefully not paralyzed. There have been deaths from the fall from the top. If you do make it to the top, there will be a very rough hike through brush and around fences then 7 miles back to your car. Please don't attempt it.

May 26, 2009
Personal Responsibility
by: World of Waterfalls

I do agree that National Parks can be dangerous places as all places where Nature is allowed to thrive can be (so it's not just National Parks).

However, I think the government can only do so much with their very tight budget constraints to try to warn the public about the dangers that are out there. I think the Park Service tries to make the public safe, but ultimately it's the responsibility of the visitor to know the risks and respect Nature.

In our own experiences, we've witnessed unprepared people on long hikes with insufficient water or improper gear/clothing (especially footwear), and even take unnecessary risks (like crossing barricades or ignoring warning signs) trying to get that "better" shot.

The extreme example in the other end is say China where every attraction is totally developed with paved surfaces, cable cars, trams, escalators, and elevators. Imagine how spoiled Yosemite National Park or the Grand Canyon would be if that were to happen.

So to reiterate, safety is a personal responsibility and you play by Nature's rules when you go out there. So enjoy Nature, but know what you're getting yourself into.

May 25, 2009
National Parks Safety
by: Anonymous

The National Parks is a place that you can get hurt very quickly. I feel the park likes to collect the money and do very little to help people get ready for the parks. I wonder if the news would report the death and injuries daily so that congress and the senate would find a way to prepare people for the dangers in the parks.

Jan 31, 2009
Wow Scary Stuff
by: Anonymous

We used to climb that around 1978-79. I think about climbing that face of the mountain 3/4 ways up and someone above you would knock a big rock loose. They could have knocked us right of the face of the cliff. Scares me to think about it now! Wow how dumb I was! Scary stuff!!!

Dec 04, 2008
Broken Back
by: Anonymous

Where was this waterfall you were talking about?


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