Mom recovering from broken neck after falling from zipline into BC lake

Jun 1 2023, 4:13 pm

Editor’s note: This article contains graphic details, including a video, that may be difficult for some.

A husband in BC unexpectedly filmed a harrowing incident after his wife fell head-first from a zipline into a lake, breaking her neck.

Rachel Stanford and her family were enjoying a day in the sun at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach over the May long weekend when she and her daughters wanted to try the zipline.

Her husband Ben explained to Daily Hive that Rachel decided to join her daughters in the lake through a zipline set up on the beach.

After two of her children swung from the rope and into the water, Rachel hopped on and fell into the water.

Ben said when she came up out of the water, she was screaming.

“The first scream was kind of muffled. I thought it was just like, oh, she’s cold because it’s… a chilly lake,” he told Daily Hive.

However, when one of his kids said they noticed they couldn’t see one of Rachel’s teeth, “I started running towards the lake thinking I’m going to go look for a tooth at the end of this rope swing.”

“Then she’s screaming ow Ben, ‘Ow Ben, ow,’ and like grabbing her upper body.”

Ben said he ran into the water fully dressed and noticed blood trickling down from Rachel’s forehead, nose, and mouth and a sizeable injury to the top of her head.

Ben, who is a care aide, said he immediately got her out of the water and stabilized her neck with the help of bystanders while one of his children called 911.

When an ambulance arrived, first responders transferred Rachel to Kelowna General Hospital, where she stayed until she was discharged a few days ago. She is now recovering at home.

Ben said it’s not clear what caused the injury.

“The contact was definitely in the water. So it’s either going to be the wet sand that compacted very quickly under her, or there was a rock down there. Or there’s a large tributary that flows in just south of that beach. And there was debris in the water that day, so could have been anything.”

Courtesy of Ben Stanford

Ben set up a GoFundMe to help support him and his family so he can care for Rachel during her recovery.

“I have stopped working and would love to be able to afford to do my profession for my wife and provide her care during her long road to recovery,” he said.

Courtesy of Ben Stanford

Ben said Rachel’s doctor predicts her recovery will take eight to 10 weeks, which is why he said he is grateful for the people that came to his family’s aid and donated money to their fundraiser, helping to eventually reach the $10,000 goal.

Daily Hive has contacted the City of Kelowna and will update this story with its response.

Nikitha MartinsNikitha Martins

+ News