Editors note: Pioneer reader Allison Shelstad had a close call a couple of weekends ago and sent in her story for publication in order to thank the people who helped her out. Here is her story, in her own words.
Over the weekend (of November 12th and 13th), my husband and I were in Radium staying at our trailer in Canyon RV Resort and I got up early Saturday morning to walk our two dogs (Reba and Tara). They were wanting a good run so I let them off leash on the Sinclair Falls trail. We ran to the end of the trail by the falls and I lost Tara, but could hear her barking. After searching and running up and down the trail, I found her stuck on a ledge high across from the trail/falls. My other dog Reba decided to run to her and fell to the ground, but seemed unharmed. I made a stupid quick decision and also went out on the ledge to try to move Tara towards safety. Unfortunately, there was no solid footing as it was slippery and full of moss. I fell four metres, hitting my head, snapping my left ankle and losing my favourite glasses.
When I landed, I realized that I had no phone and had left my family sleeping in the trailer. Since it was November 12th, the trail was empty so we were very much alone. With Tara howling above me and Reba by my side, I decided to crawl back to the trailer. The pain was getting fairly intense and I felt sick from the sight of my leg. I tried to get Reba to run ahead and get my husband, but, like a loyal companion, she refused and stayed by my side and licked my face every time I stopped or cried. She was my little hero.
We were on the trail for over two hours and fumbled over multiple sharp rocks, tree roots and muck. Just when I thought I couldnt go any further, my husband found us. After a first panic (he tripped over my bad leg), he called 911 and Radium Fire and Rescue and the Invermere paramedics were soon on the scene. I was so relieved for help as I was freezing, and by that time the pain was in full force. I would like to say I handled the pain well but Im pretty certain my screams were heard across the valley.
I would like to thank Lee from the campgound, everyone from fire and rescue and the paramedics (especially Graham and Bram, and Jim and Dave). Also a shout out to the firefighter who rappelled down to my dog Tara and brought her to safety. I would like to profusely apologize since she bit him and another rescue worker several times. To say that we are appreciative of the care I received at the Invermere hospital would be a serious understatement. The doctors and nurses were top notch (especially Kendall), and I was able to get into the Cranbrook hospital for surgery, which was also another great experience. This may sound melodramatic, but I wouldnt be alive today without the help of many people in Radium and Invermere. I was very hurt and now am well on the road to recovery.
With many thanks,