New Zealand student survives 80ft fall from Yosemite’s Half Dome

A New Zealand student is recovering in a hospital after falling 24 meters from Half Dome in Yosemite National Park this month.

Anna Parsons, 21, broke bones all over her body and had her left foot amputated, but it was ‘nothing short of a miracle’ that she survived, her sister wrote on an online fundraising page. His family said Parsons’ medical bills have reached around $1 million since the precipitous fall.

Parsons was vacationing in Yosemite with his climbing partner, Jack Evans, before they started school in Canada, Evans told Climbing magazine.

The two marine science students, who met at the University of Otago in New Zealand, climbed Swan Gully on July 31 and then went to climb Snake Dike, a popular route on the south-west face of Half Dome , early the next morning, Evans told the magazine.

Evans said Parsons was in the lead when she got out of sight and passed an anchor, a place on the rock where climbers can clip to secure themselves.

When she realized she had dropped anchor, she tried to descend but slipped and fell about 70 to 80 feet.

“I remember slipping,” Parsons told SFGate. “I hit a ledge, and I was in a lot of pain, and I remember looking at my ankle and thinking, ‘Oh my God,’ because it was in pieces.”

Paramedics arrived by helicopter and inserted a needle into her chest to keep her alive after her left lung collapsed, she told SFGate.

Parsons suffered fractures to his neck, spine, pelvis, ribs and feet, according to the online fundraiser set up by his sister, Jessica Ennor.

His left foot, Ennor wrote, was injured “irreparably” and was amputated.

Despite the numerous injuries, Parsons remained conscious during the painful ordeal.

“It will be a long journey to recovery,” Ennor wrote, “but if anyone can do it, Anna can.”

Parsons had travel insurance, but it will only cover part of the costs of surgeries and treatment, Ennor wrote.

So far, the online fundraiser has raised over $330,000 of its $500,000 goal.

“It means so much,” Parsons said in a video message from the hospital that was posted on the fundraising page. “It’s actually going pretty well, which is amazing. Just hoping for some grants to cover some medical bills, and pray for those.


Los Angeles Times

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