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

(Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD arrest man at gunpoint after firearm call

Man faces charges for breaching condition not to possess replica firearms

Learning tools from the Garth Homer Society’s LifeStreams program have gone online. (Facebook/Garth Homer Society)
Online platform launched for Greater Victoria adults with developmental disabilities

Platform includes programs, events, activities and COVID-19 resources

Coroner Andy Watson confirmed the death of a man in Chemainus Monday night.
Death at Victoria encampment for people who are homeless deemed not suspicious

BC Coroners Service now investigating death at Royal Athletic Park Jan. 23

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Second doses delayed as B.C. vaccine delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Most Read