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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photographer captures Port Alberni personalities in black and white portraits

Meet John Douglas, Courtney Naesgaard in double exhibit Jan. 18 at Rollin Art Centre

Alberni Valley Community Foundation opens grant application process for 2020

Nearly $30K available for Port Alberni-based charities

Stray cat with ‘serious burns’ recovering at Alberni SPCA

The BC SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot branch is asking members of the public for help with medical costs

B.C. government puts kibosh on drag racing at Alberni Valley Regional Airport

AVDRA was hopeful for a three-year temporary contract to race at the airport

Wet, white and windy winter weather hits Port Alberni

Snow expected to turn to rain on Thursday

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Most Read