21-year-old wildlife biology student Maggie Michael was in the Colorado Mountains, cataloguing an especially rare plant that only grows there, when her worst case scenario began. The rock she was standing on gave way, and sent her tumbling down the rocky mountainside.
She struggled to grab onto anything solid for the first 30 feet of her fall, but she couldn’t find anything to slow her down. Her fall didn’t end when she hit the first ledge on the way down, instead, she tumbled another 70 feet before coming to a stop.
“If I didn’t land exactly where I did,” Michael says, “I would have gone over the next cliff, which was well over 200 feet.”
During the fall, when she realized she wasn’t going to be able to stop herself, she did the next best thing. She grabbed the St. Dominic medallion and crucifix on the necklace around her neck, and she began to pray.
No sooner had she begun her prayers, then she saw two bald eagles soar overhead.
“I just prayed ‘Jesus be with me’, and in that moment I saw two bald eagles,” she said.
Shockingly, Maggie survived the 100 foot fall. But, she didn’t escape unscathed. She suffered multiple cuts and bruises, along with injuries to both her ankle and knee. At first, she was unaware of how badly she was injured, but it soon became clear when she attempted to stand and walk. Her vision went dark, and she realized her injuries were severe enough to prevent her from finding help on her own. Maggie called out for half an hour before her team found her, and it was another two hours before they were able to get her medical attention.
Despite her ordeal, Michael is grateful to those who helped her, saying “They were just so kind, and I won’t ever forget them.” While she isn’t sure she’ll ever go back out in search of rare plants again, she says she feels fortunate to still be alive and recovering after everything that has happened. SHARE the love and pass it on!