Fourteen Year Old Girl (ATS Member-4thefight) Survives 50-ft Fall (True Story)

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posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 02:00 AM
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We have many heroes onboard at ATS, but they do not often come to us as young as, '4thefight' ATS member. Her awe-inspiring tale of survival and long grueling road-to-recovery, began when she was fourteen years old. Hereafter, she will be referred to as, 4tf.

4tf shared this story with me in private and I convinced her to allow me to present it to you. I am deeply honored.

Our story begins July 24, 2001 in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I know these mountains well. There is an old saying in the area, "The curves in the roads there are so sharp, you could meet yourself coming!" On the downslopes of the mountains, you see sand piles on the sides of the highways; in the event that the truckers lose their brakes, then the sandpiles will help keep them from going over the sides of the mountains. Some drivers, as an added note of caution, have been known to honk their horns to alert oncoming cars that they are entering a curve. This is due to the near impossibility of being able to stay within your own lane, while veering around these curves. Hopefully I have painted a fair picture of the steepness of the hills and mountains in this area.

On this particular hot summer day, our tomboyish young lady and her young male cousin, are visiting with 4tf's grandmother. The two youths decide to take advantage of this fantastic woodsy area with it's many opportunities of adventure.
At this point I am going to let 4tf tell you in her own words.

Afterward, if you would like to ask any questions or make any comments, I will leave that to 4tf.




posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 02:01 AM
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I was a very troubled teen at the age of 14. So bad my parents were ready to send me to a military school. I had recently moved into my Grandmother’s house, and she is one of the sweetest ladies you would ever meet. The only thing was that she would nit-pick about every little thing. “Don’t sit like that, don’t slouch, don’t use the internet it’s dangerous…etc” So when she ask if my cousin and I wanted to take a trip to the mountains, we were not that excited. We agreed since school would be starting up soon and we needed a vacation.

The first couple days were fun, but not as adventurous as we had hoped. July 24th rolled around and we were leaving in two days. I had been to the campground many times before and knew of a waterfall the was no more than a couple mile hike. I begged my grandmother to let us hike to the falls, I wanted my cousin to see them. She said no and I much as we persisted she would not give in. SO my cousin and I put on our bathing suits and decided to go anyways. We told grandmother that we were going to the pond nearby and set off. The hike was a lot longer than I had remembered it. My cousin was complaining because of the blisters on his feet. ( he was wearing tennis shoes with no socks) And I was truly uncomfortable in my Speedo swimsuit, shorts, and flip-flops.

After a long hike we finally reach the falls. I had remembered watching my uncle hike to the top as a kid and I had always wanted to see what was at the top. So being the adventurous youngin I was I tossed off my flip-flops and began to climb. My cousin thought I was out of mine but I talked him into following me up to the top. The whole way up he kept saying that I “was going to get us killed” I just laughed it off not a care in the world. Little did I know my life would soon change forever. We reached the top of the falls and truly was beautiful. You could see the mountains for miles. There was a huge concrete which the water ran though. You could barley see to the other side. We heard traffic so once again I talked my cousin into going though it. We reached the top and came out at Bear Den Overlook on the Blueridge Parkway.

Some bikers were there and laughed at my shorts because they were caked with mud from our hike. After about 30 minutes, we saw a rainstorm headed our way and decided we had better get home before Grandmother found out that we had lied. After we crossed though the concrete culvert the rain started coming down. For some reason we had came out on the other side and with it being so wet the path down proved treacherous. A half rotten log ran across the falls and suddenly I thought it would be a good idea to climb across it to get the other side and hopefully find a way down.

I got about half way across just holding the log when I lost my grip and began to slide. I rolled over to my stomach grasping for anything I could grasp on to. I had part of a rock in my hands for a moment but it crumbled as I descended downwards. I went off the edge as my cousin screamed “No Cassie no!” I thought to myself here it goes oh # I’m gonna die. I closed my eyes and didn’t feel myself hit the ground.

I watched my cousin run down to me, which I know now that there was no possible way I could see him, as I was unconscious according to him. He reached me, and covered me with a towel. And said stay here I am going to get help. I was as if I was looking down on myself and him, then I “woke up” I laid there feeling the rain fall softly on my skin and I thought a lot. I tried to sit up but I was unable to. My arm was sprawled out behind me so I managed to get it with my left arm and pull it close to me. I was not in any pain, just very nauseous, and having a great deal of trouble breathing. It began to get dark and I was getting very scared. I screamed out when ever I could I yelled help.

There was no one around for miles though and it seemed pointless. It kept getting harder and harder to breathe and I managed to rig my left arm out of my Speedo but it caused my great pain when I tried to get my right arm out. I had this thirst that was extremely bad so I kept sticking my left arm into puddles near my and licking the mountain rain off my hands. After about an hour and half of lying by myself I heard my cousins screaming my name. He came running out of the woods, screaming to someone else to hurry up. I had wriggled my bathing suit completely off of my left side and the first thing he did was ask my to cover up my exposed area. (I laugh about that now)

He told me not to die on him and I said I am not going to die, He then asked me to smile at him which I did. Two older men soon emerged from the woods with a first aid kit. I told them I couldn’t breathe and to cut my bathing suit off me. When they refused I got angry, and told them that the bathing suit was suffocating me, I kind-of screamed at them really and they gave in and cut it off. They covered me with there jackets. Soon more and more people started showing up, and my cousin was running though the wood showing the rescuers the way. They began to repel down the falls to me.

They loaded me onto a red board, and strapped me down. And they put a neck brace on me. I kept feeling nauseous and they would turn me over but I would just gag. They kept asking me questions and everyone looked so scared. On guy told me that this name was Stacy and I said “Isn’t that a girl’s name” He didn’t laugh. They asked me who the president was and I told them George Washington. I guess they just didn’t find my humor funny. I was so tired and every time I closed my eyes they would make me open them again. I was relaxed at peace, everyone was freaking out and I was calm and content.

The rescuers tied me to a bunch of ropes and started to pull me up the falls. At one point the board I was on turned and my face slammed into the falls. The quickly turned me back around, and proceeded to the top. Almost at the top my IV got caught on a branch and ripped out of my arm, I giggled because I didn’t feel it. Once at the top the loaded me into an ambulance with my cousin and drove to the nearest hospital, I kept wanting to close my eyes and they kept waking my up.

They kept asking for my parents’ phone number and I kept giving it to them, but the rescuers did not realize we were from out of town, and I was not giving an area code. Once we reached Spruce Pine Hospital I was airlifted to Ashville, to St. Joseph’s Memorial Mission Hospital without my cousin. I remember watching the clouds and feeling so at peace. I kept staring into this ladies eyes and she looked very upset. I was told that this was the first time I “died” I remember the helicopter touching down and people racing me inside. A lot after this I don’t remember as well. I remember at about 11 my cousin and grandma both came into see me. I was really banged up.

My blood pressure was 60 over 30. My grandmother had tears in her eyes and I told her that I would never disobey her again. She just sobbed. The doctors would only tell my grandmother that I had a broken arm since she was not my legal guardian. Turns out a cop had given my cousin a ride to the Ashville hospital from Spruce Pine, and one of the lady’s who ran the campground store had driven my grandmother to Ashville. I was in and out of consciousness from there on. As the night progressed I got worse. My temperature soared to 106 degrees and I went into violent seizers. The chaplain at the hospital called my parents and told them that I would not make it though the night.

My mom dad step-dad and step-mom arrived about 2 am in the morning. I didn’t make it though the night but I did come back. My mom was by my side every moment. I remember her holding my hand and talking to me. Over the next couple days the extent of my injuries became apparent. I had a collapsed lung, bruised lung, bruised liver, severe internal bleeding, and nasty cut on my head, Shattered elbow, crushed shoulder, broken collarbone and pelvis, broken ankle, I broke all my ribs but two, broke all the lumbar bones in my back, and they didn’t know it at the time but a broken wrist. They had planned to operate on Thursday but I developed fluid in my lungs and they could not bring my fever down below 102.
by 4thefight (continued)



[edit on 24-4-2008 by sizzle]

 
edit to break into paragraphs

[edit on 25/4/08 by masqua]



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 02:10 AM
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The doctors did not think that I would ever walk again. The told my mother that they wanted to amputate my right arm. She refused and opted for an experimental surgery to place wires in my elbow. They told my mother that my arm would never move again. They were able to finally operate about a week later. After 14 hours of surgery I had an almost full bionic arm. Plates and screws in my shoulder, and ankle. My doctors were simply amazing. Little by little I began to move around a bit, I had developed bedsore on my back, and the staples in my head had done a good job of messing up my hair. The lady who was in the helicopter with came to visit me in the hospital and well as some of the other rescuers. I owe them and my cousin my life.

After almost 3 weeks I was able to return home. I was stuck in a wheelchair, and unable to move my right arm. My step-dad built a wheelchair ramp over our front steps. And my dad was able to get me a hospital bed, and an electric wheelchair that I could steer with my left arm. Once at home they finally decided to operate on my wrist. The hospital in Ashville had over looked it. Little by little I began to regain my strength. I was able to go to school have of the time starting in October. And was in Physical therapy 3 times a week. I wanted to be able to brush my hair again, and write.

My church bought me a laptop to help me with my schooling, and I had a homebound teacher help me out. My body slowly began to reject every piece of metal that had been put it, so I had to have surgeries to have it all removed. Once the wire was out of my elbow, I was able to move it. .


Little by little I could move it more and more. Today I have almost full range of motion. I still have pain, in my back, shoulder, ankle, elbow and wrist, but it is minor and I have gotten used to it. The biggest thing now is all the scars. And the memories. It truly changed my life. I owe it all to my cousin and the 248 people who flocked to the falls to save my life.

My mother stood by my though everything, I don’t know what I would have done without her. Sadly she passed away this past September from breast cancer, but I was there holding her hand, as she slipped away. She told me one time that she had taken care of me and now I was taking care of her. When I saw her smile when she took her last breath I knew that peace she was feeling, and though it was hard I remember how it felt.
by 4thefight

 


Edit to break into paragraphs



[edit on 25/4/08 by masqua]



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 02:20 AM
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Below you will find one of the newspaper articles' outlining 4tf's story.



You will notice a discrepancy in the height difference in the amount of feet involved in fall. Some articles read, 80 ft, some proclaimed 40-50ft.

Many thanks to Redmage for editing help on this article.


[edit on 24-4-2008 by sizzle]



[edit on 24-4-2008 by sizzle]

[edit on 24-4-2008 by sizzle]



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 02:28 AM
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On the road to recovery:



[edit on 24-4-2008 by sizzle]



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 02:42 AM
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Here is a photo of the falls that 4tf fell from:



[edit on 24-4-2008 by sizzle]

[edit on 24-4-2008 by sizzle]



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 03:19 AM
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Some of you might wonder why I am presenting this story for 4thefight, instead of, she doing it herself. Originally, she asked me to view the clippings, and go over her account and re-write it for her. She did not feel confident in her writing ability and she wasn't sure where she should post the story. I agreed to help her.

After looking at what she had written, I decided that no one could tell this story better. I did not change anything.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 05:36 AM
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Amazing Story! Thank you for having the courage to share with us 4thefight and for putting this together Sizzle.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 05:45 AM
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reply to post by CthulhuRising
 


Thank you for reading CthulhuRising. You know, it just came to my attention that you have to be a writer to post in this thread, so I see that it poses a problem for 4thefight to answer any comments directed to her. Ho-hum, what to do...



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 05:59 AM
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Wow!, Thanks for sharing, its seems we have a soldier on our hands! Very inspiring!!! Thanks again for sharing that!



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 06:41 AM
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Originally posted by sizzle
reply to post by CthulhuRising
 


Thank you for reading CthulhuRising. You know, it just came to my attention that you have to be a writer to post in this thread, so I see that it poses a problem for 4thefight to answer any comments directed to her. Ho-hum, what to do...


Well you did post her story for her, so she should get "writer" status, but wow what a story. It just shows what a person can go threw.

Now if she would have only listened to grandma to begin with, but really gives new meaning to live and learn.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 06:46 AM
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reply to post by LDragonFire
 


Good point LDF,
Hopefully I will hear from the mods on this one, soon.
Seems to me as though she cut her writer's teeth on this one.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 06:54 AM
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Originally posted by LDragonFire
Well you did post her story for her, so she should get "writer" status, but wow what a story.


Consider it done.

What a remarkable tale of personal strength.

4thefight really lives up to her username and I am very grateful that she has shared her story with us.

What a fighter!




posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 06:58 AM
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As a bonus, I have also awarded her 5000 ATS points.

Please, 4thefight, keep us informed right here in this thread.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 07:07 AM
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An absolutely incredible story of strength.

Thank you to 4thefight for sharing this and to sizzle for posting it.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 07:13 AM
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Originally posted by masqua
As a bonus, I have also awarded her 5000 ATS points.

Please, 4thefight, keep us informed right here in this thread.


Right on man!!!!


You put the SUPER in Moderator!!!!



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 07:17 AM
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Originally posted by kleverone

Originally posted by masqua
As a bonus, I have also awarded her 5000 ATS points.

Please, 4thefight, keep us informed right here in this thread.


Right on man!!!!


You put the SUPER in Moderator!!!!


And, to SUPER-impose my thoughts..you guys know how to give a SUPER warm ATS welcome to new ATS members. Kudos!



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 07:56 AM
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What an amazing story of courage!

Thank you so much 4thefight for sharing this with us, you truly are an inspiration,
Sizzle, thank you for taking the time to put it together for us,





posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 08:37 AM
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A special thanks to 4thefight and Sizzle for sharing this story with us!

Very inspiring strength you have 4the, and my hopes for your continued recovery in this. You are a very courageous lady!



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 08:47 AM
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4thefight you are an amazing young lady and an inspiration to all. Sizzle thank you for helping bring this remarkable story to us.





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