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

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

Eric Antell (centre) receives a commendation from Ridge Meadows RCMP Acting Officer in Charge Wendy Mehat (left). (Ridge Meadows RCMP photo/ Facebook)
VIDEO: Maple Ridge man gets commendation for assisting Mountie under attack

Eric Antell tackled a suspect who was assaulting a police officer on Christmas Day 2019

Caitlin Toews, operations director of The Asante Centre, says more supports are needed for people with FASD. (Special to The News)
More supports ‘urgently’ needed for those living with FASD

Wait-lists for supports at Maple Ridge centre can mean the difference between life and death

Rich Goulet in 2015. (THE NEWS/files)
STM renames Chancellor Tournament for Rich Goulet

Iconic Pitt Meadows coach memorialized by the high school where he started

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

The city asking the public if they want to pursue legal action against the province and their decision to override the city on the Victory Church issue. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton to sue province over homeless shelter

City council voted unanimously to go forward with legal action

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cash seized in a 2018 RCMP drug bust in the Lower Mainland. (Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP-led drug investigation nets charges for 4 in Lower Mainland

Cops seized 12 kilograms of MDMA and $380K executing several search warrants in the Lower Mainland in 2018

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

Welcome to your park sign marks the spot where 84th Avenue will continue east from King George Boulevard to 140th Street as part of a $13 million road project. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Road Rage: Opposition mounts anew to Surrey’s Bear Creek traffic plan

Same place, same project, same fight as Surrey prepares once again to connect 84th Avenue between King George and 140th Street in Newton

Sasquatch Days typically takes place in May but has been canceled the past two years due to COVID-19. The Sts’ailes First Nation recently announced this year’s cancelation. (Photo/Tourism Harrison)
Sasquatch Days in Harrison canceled due to COVID-19

Second year in a row the pandemic canceled this event

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

Most Read