The brother of a man who was rescued from Skaha Bluffs earlier this month says the climber has a long road to recovery ahead of him.
On July 5, Ward Jensen was rock climbing at Penticton’s Skaha Bluffs when he fell 40 feet, causing him to become paralyzed from the waist down.
“Ward is now facing a severe disability and a long, challenging recovery, with a further month or more in Vancouver General Hospital and then eight to nine months of rehabilitation,” wrote his brother, Brett Jensen, on a GoFundMe page.
It took the combined efforts of the Penticton Fire Department, Search and Rescue, and B.C. Ambulance, including air support, to rescue Ward.
B.C. emergency crews rescue injured climber from Skaha Bluffs
Following the rescue, Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson said the Skaha Bluffs area is a difficult spot to conduct a rescue, given the complex terrain and lack of accessibility.
According to his brother, Ward was an avid climber and enjoyed being outdoors.
“Ward’s passion in life was climbing; there was nothing that he enjoyed more. Ward was well-known and active in the climbing community and helped to train many others,” wrote Brett.
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Brett, who lives in Adelaide, Australia, launched the fundraiser shortly after the accident to support his brother’s recovery.
“Ward will need equipment such as a wheelchair, ramps, home renovations, and eventually an altered vehicle (so) he can drive,” wrote Brett.
“And as Ward’s wife will be supporting him through his recovery, they will have little or no income to get by on, especially while he is in the hospital.”
So far, over $9,000 has been raised through the GoFundMe page. In an update on Tuesday, Ward and his wife thanked everyone who has contributed so far.
Brett also said in the update that Ward was up in a wheelchair for most of the day, “which is pretty massive progress.”
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