DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A Randolph County woman is alive after falling roughly 30 feet at a popular hiking destination.
It happened Sunday, around 2:45 pm between Badin Lake and High Rock Lake. First responders arrived on the scene, but had to scramble for information to locate the woman because she and her hiking partner didn’t know exactly where they were located.
Her father said she did make it out of surgery safely and she wants this to serve as a caution for other hikers. The good news is that while she is in serious condition, she can recognize touch on her feet and can wiggle her toes.
Those who are responsible for helping save her life said they are thankful they were able to make the difficult rescue.
“What equipment do we need? What can we physically carry to this patient? Because we are not going to be able to take everything with us,” said Caleb Thomas, Davidson County EMS.
Those were the thoughts running through the minds of first responders when they got the call someone had fallen 30 feet from a cliff between Badin and High Rock Lakes. The only thing responders knew for sure was that the victim was in her 20s and her friend she was hiking with mentioned last seeing a sign for Newsome Road.
“We don’t know which direction they’re actually in because the details we had was they could see a campfire, stuff like that. They couldn’t give us actual landmarks,” said Matthew Niblock, Davidson County Deputy.
With spotty cell phone reception and few details, a firefighter hiked to find the location the woman had fallen from.
Minutes later, they radioed in that she’d been found. Then, the struggle of how to get her down the rocky terrain ensued.
“We actually had to use some trees in the area to wrap the rope around to assist with lowering her down the last stretch. It was about a 20-foot section we had to lower her down,” Niblock said. “A few of the firefighters had to crawl down on their hands and knees to get to the bottom, in order to catch her when she did make it low enough,” he said.
As first responders worked to keep the woman calm enough to get her down, they “Just kept her talking, trying to keep her mind off what’s going on. Just trying to keep her comfortable as we could,” Niblock said.
Deputies on the ground were doing the same for her family members who were on the scene.
“Especially with your child not knowing if they are going to live. Being able to be there for him, and her grandmother was out there as well, but being able to be there for them and an emotional need like that help them through that is an honor to do that,” said Tim Smith, a Davidson County deputy.
The patient was transported to the hospital by air and is expected to make a full recovery.
Her parents said Monday, her surgery to fix her forehead, eye socket and spleen. She still has more surgeries to go to fix her knee and compound fracture to her ankle according to her mother’s Facebook page.