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Fitness & Health

18th Aug 2022

Young rock climber who plunged 24m off cliff left with $1.2m hospital bill

Kieran Galpin

She broke almost every bone in her body

A rock climber who fell 24m has suffered horrific injuries resulting in her foot being amputated and a bill totalling $1.2m.

Anna Parsons was climbing in California’s Yosemite National Park on August 1 when she slipped and broke almost every bone in her body. She had been scaling the “Snake Dike” route on the Half Dome peak at the time alongside friend Jack Evans.

The 21-year-old from New Zealand had travelled to the US ahead of her foreign exchange program in Canada. They arrived on July 31 and tackled the 100m Swan Gully before setting their sights on Snake Dike, which stands at a staggering 762m.

While scaling the peak, Parsons missed a climbing bolt and subsequently slipped and fell 24m. She hit multiple ledges and was only saved by Evans’ rope that held her swinging in place in agony.

A rock climber who fell 24m suffered horrific injuries that resulted in her foot being amputated and a subsequent bill totalling $1.2 million. 

Evans was able to get his friend to a ledge so a Yosemite Search and Rescue helicopter could pick them up and transport Parsons to a San Francisco hospital. The whole rescue took around an hour.

Doctors said her helmet saved her life but she still suffered horrendous breaks in her neck, pelvis, spine, ribs and legs. She also punctured both her lungs.

Parsons underwent numerous surgeries and had titanium plates fused to some of her bones. Doctors told her that her left leg was “shattered”, and her foot was so badly damaged that she was forced to choose between a lack of mobility and amputation. She chose the latter.

Via Givealittle

However her fight is not over and now she faces a mountain of medical bills having finished her last round of surgery on August 13. Travel insurance will only cover up to $250,000, prompting her sister Jessica to start a fundraiser via Givealittle.

So far, they have already raised nearly $500,000.

“Money is something we don’t like to stress about but Anna’s medical bills exceed $1 million. Her travel insurance only covers a part of the costs of her surgeries and hospital care so we need to fundraise for the rest!” Jessica wrote. “Thank you so much for being here and caring for Anna!! We know Anna will go on to do amazing things in her future!!”

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