Teen recounts his 150 foot fall

By: Janet Kim Email
By: Janet Kim Email

Thomas Drake, the 19-year old Eagle Scott, was released from the UK hospital after spending days following a fall from a 300 foot cliff. He landed on his face, and his family says they are just grateful at how well he's recovering.

"I'm doing good," says Drake.

Drake was hiking for his 19th birthday in the Umber Fork area of Wolfe County, near a waterfall, when he says he lost his footing on moss and began sliding down. Rescue crews spent hours trying to get to Drake.

It's a phone call most mothers would fear, and for Bitha Risner, it was no different.

"I was panicked," says Risner. "I was in shock."

Though Drake suffered several fractures to the face and broke his arm among other injuries, relief soon settled in for Risner to hear her boy was alive.

"A great weight was lifted when they said he was talking," says Risner.

Risner says Drake had less than 2 weeks before he would join the marines, and the family says that goal hasn't died as they're on the road to recovery is just beginning.

Drake's family says he will have to return to the hospital for several more visits to undergo surgeries for the injuries to his face.


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