11 year old paralyzed after fall at Troll Falls in Kananaskis. She suffered a broken back, a collapsed lung, a partially collapsed lung, a skull fracture and a severed spinal cord.
After the fall, Hailey’s 15-year-old brother, Darren, came to her rescue.
“She slipped on a wet rock, she got swept over a waterfall and her brother rescued her at the base of the falls,” said David Cheng, Hailey’s father.
Despite the heroic effort on her brother’s part, Hailey knew then and there that she did not have sensation in her legs.
“At the site, she knew. She knew she had lost sensation in her legs while they were rescuing her,” recalled David.
A mountain rescue team showed up and assessed her injuries before making the call that Hailey would need to be airlifted from the scene. Alpine Helicopters airlifted her to a STARS Air Ambulance, which brought Hailey to the Alberta Children’s Hospital. It was confirmed there that she was paralyzed from the belly button down.
Currently, Hailey is undergoing rehab at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton and working to regain functionality and strengthen her upper body through daily physical therapy.
She’s also learning to be independent, says David.
“She’s getting stronger every day. There are some skills she still needs to develop. (But) physically, she’s getting stronger,” he said.
Though his daughter is progressing physically, David says she still has some emotional hurdles to face.
“She’s still working through some emotional issues, and she deals with a psychiatrist once a week on those,” he added.