'I fell off a cliff for about 10 metres. I couldn't get up'
Fiona’s story | Trusting God, no matter what
“2019 was a challenging year! My marriage broke down and work was stressful. I was ill for two months and then my father passed away. By October, I was really looking forward to a break. I planned to reconnect with old school friends and go hiking in the Blue Mountains (New South Wales). I love hiking. It relaxes me and I can forget my troubles. So we hiked for three days … and it was really good. On the last day, a friend and I decided to go on one last hike.”
“We descended right down to the Wentworth Pass. When we reached the bottom, we thought about coming back up for a coffee, but we decided to press on further. It was beautiful, but more challenging. On the way up, we took the wrong path. As we turned back, I slipped on leaf litter. I started to fall, inadvertently starting a small landslide. I was sliding feet first with my backpack, picking up speed quickly. I knew I was in trouble.
“I fell down a small embankment after about 25 metres and thought I might stop, but instead the ground just disappeared beneath me, and I fell off a cliff face for about 10 metres. I landed on my feet, then felt my back crunch, falling to my right side. I couldn’t get up. The rocks and leaves were still falling on me, so I crawled away towards the pool.
“I was bleeding, in a lot of pain, but I was relieved I could feel my toes. I triaged myself, and lay completely still. A strange calm came over me.
“It’s hard to explain. Maybe angels were watching over me. Then, my friend found me and she contacted the Police Rescue Squad and the ambulance. They came in by helicopter. The trauma surgeons were amazed that I was alive. The neurosurgeons were surprised I wasn’t a paraplegic. The medical teams did a great job putting me back together. I had broken my spine, my wrist and damaged my knee. But all this week I’ve been reading Psalm 34:4. It says, “I sought the Lord and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” That’s how it felt for me lying there.
“I knew I had nothing to fear. I have put my life in God’s hands and I trust that he has plans for my life. My perspective has been rebooted.
“I still have a lot of pain and I can only walk short distances, but I feel calmer than I’ve ever felt, and I look forward to each day. I’ve stopped stressing about my home life, my job, how much super I don’t have, where I will live, material possessions, and so on. I’m thankful – and now I live one day at a time.
“I’m also looking forward to going back to my church and doing the rosters. I feel better for it!”