Morgan Robinson is looking on the bright side after a nasty tumble while hiking near Quesnel on Sept. 11. Photo submitted

‘I was just looking out at the beautiful lake’: Quesnel hiker survives 70-foot fall

Friends have set up a GoFundMe for the 23-year-old single father as he recovers in Vancouver

A Quesnel man is lucky to be alive after falling from a tall cliff while hiking.

Morgan Robinson, 23, had just wrapped up work on Sept. 11 when he and a friend took a hike to a lookout point above Dragon Lake, just south of the city.

While enjoying the view, Robinson took a phone call and strolled closer to the edge.

“I was just looking out at the beautiful lake, not really thinking,” he says, calling from Vancouver General Hospital, “and then I hung up my phone, put it in my pocket and I went to turn to pivot to walk away from the edge and realized I was too close.”

READ MORE: Rescue of injured 74-year-old U.S. hiker spins out of control

Before he knew it, his foot slipped on some loose rocks, and he was tumbling down the hill.

“I tried to roll onto my stomach and grab the rocks, but it was to no avail,” says Robinson. “I slid on the rocks for about 10 feet, hit a ledge, spun around and then fell about 70 feet from there.”

His friend scrambled down as quickly as she could and called the paramedics, who took Robinson to Quesnel’s G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital.

The fall resulted in three broken vertebrae in Robinson’s spine, a shattered left wrist, a fractured right heel and a badly injured left ankle.

Though the injuries are quite serious, Robinson says it could have been much worse, and he credits a background in martial arts for helping him control his body on the way down.

“One of the first things I thought of was ‘if I don’t land on my feet, I’m going to break my neck and I’ll be dead’ … so I tried to fall in a way that protected my head,” he says.

“I knew my legs were going to be broken when I fell — that was a given — but I didn’t want to land in a way that was instant death.”

Robinson says he put his arms over his head, using a tight boxing-style guard, to prevent any brain trauma. It seems to have worked, as he only sustained a mild concussion.

Once stabilized in Quesnel, Robinson was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital, where he underwent spinal and wrist surgery.

After a week, he is already thinking as positively as he can and sounds quite chipper considering the circumstances.

“I was able to go vertical yesterday for the first time in a week,” he says. “With the help of some nurses and a lift, I was able to get into a wheelchair and get pushed around the hallway and rolled outside for a minute.”

Although it was a simple activity, he is delighted to have done it.

“It’s amazing what you take for granted when you don’t have it.”

Robinson, a single father of a five-year-old girl, who was working as a youth care worker and pizza delivery driver when the accident happened, will not be taking anything for granted as he begins an arduous journey back towards regaining his health and mobility.

“I’ve been doing lots of physio already, ” he says. “They’ve been sitting me up, and I’ve been doing arm exercises and leg lifts.”

The next stage of his recovery will have to be in the Lower Mainland, as the doctors will not let him checkout before he can get himself in and out of a wheelchair and move around in it under his own power.

“Because my back isn’t quite strong enough, it hurts a lot to sit in the chair,” he says. “Anything more than five or 10 minutes where I’m not laying down results in excruciating pain.”

To help with expenses while Robinson recovers, his friends have organized a GoFundMe campaign.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to work for at least he winter,” says Robinson, “and I love to be productive, so this is going to be difficult for me.”



ronan.odoherty@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo Fire Rescue reviewing potential sites for future fire stations

City’s growing population, infrastructure, taffic congestion prompting study

OPINION: The more walkable a city, the more liveable it is

New pedestrian advocacy group, Walk in Nanaimo, being formed

Homelessness Action Week a call for citizens to see the issue in a new light

Homelessness Action Week Oct. 13-19 includes coffee talk, facility tours, film screening

Nanaimo Clippers thankful after three straight wins on road trip

City’s junior A hockey club wins seventh in a row, trades alternate captain

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Empower court system, RCMP to curb crime

Justice system gives free rides to repeat offenders, says letter writer

VIDEO: Trudeau plays defence in Maritimes today while Scheer fights for seats in Quebec

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party has been on the rise in recent polls, is campaigning in Toronto

Court action in Trail acid spills may take years

B.C. court case involves a number of defendants and a number of plaintiffs

In the news: Sprinting to the election finish line and anger amid Manitoba storms

First Nations residents forced to evacuate their Manitoba homes after a recent snowstorm

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

Proposed 76-unit residential development would neighbour north Nanaimo mall

Council approves first and second reading of re-zoning application for 4961 Songbird Pl.

Map on Elections Canada site sends voters to Cedar landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

Nanaimo software designer creates hunting-themed card game

Duck Buck Moose involves skill, cunning and luck of the draw

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates compare, contrast platforms on debate stage

Energy policy, veterans’ affairs and more debated Thursday at Beban Park

City council mulls emergency medical responder training for firefighters

Council directs staff to prepare report on firefighter medical training upgrades

Most Read