Former Relational Ministry participant Edward Spanner didn’t know January 29 would be such a memorable day. If anything, he thought it would only be remembered as a simple fishing trip with a good friend.
Instead, January 29 was a day of fear and praise.
The two friends were enjoying an uneventful time of fishing when Edward decided he wanted to get closer to the ocean. Despite knowing he wasn’t really supposed to, he crawled out onto a jetty in Yaquina Bay, leaving his friend about 10 yards behind.
He went to cast his line but lost his balance. He fell eight feet and landed on the rocks at the water line.
Everything was hurting.
“I really thought I was going to die,” Edward said. “I yelled loud enough for Ryan to hear me and told him I couldn’t move.”
Consciousness was fading and shock was setting in. “Ryan told me I had turned white as mayonnaise,” Edward said.
He couldn’t remember if he had hit his head but his neck was definitely hurting. Ryan kept Edward awake as they waited for help to come.
The paramedics came but couldn’t get Edward up.
“All I could say was, ‘Oh God help me. Oh God help me,’” Edward said.
The medics were able to get him on a board, but they couldn’t get him off the rocks. They called the U.S. Coast Guard.
Edward said, “Anthony, a medic, was like an angel. He stayed with me and kept telling me, ‘You’re gonna be okay.’”
His blood pressure was practically nonexistent and he was “absolutely freezing.”
The Coast Guard came and they struggled to move Edward as well. No one could get him to the waiting ambulance.
Anthony told Edward, “We’re gonna have to air lift you off the rocks.” He administered some morphine and continued to tell him not to worry.
Thirty minutes later, the helicopter finally showed up. It had seemed like an eternity, but the ordeal was far from over.
Now the crew had to get Edward into the helicopter and it was no easy feat. They still did not exactly what injuries Edward but the Coast Guard decided to treat him as if he had a spinal injury, which required a tremendous amount of caution.
The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew lifted Edward from the jetty and set him down in the nearby parking lot.
“When I was in the air was when I was really praying,” Edward said. “Oh God, please don’t let them drop me.”
From there, he was transported by ambulance to a hospital in Newport.
The doctors did scans from the top of his head down to his feet; nothing was left un-scanned.
There was some surprise when the results were in. Not a single bone was broken.
“All I can do is thank God,” Edward said.
“They sent me home. I don’t remember going home because I was pretty well drugged,” he chuckled. “I slept for, like, three days.”
As of the writing of this article, he was still at the coast and taking it slow. The recovery has gone well. His friend has been looking out for him, making sure he doesn’t get into more trouble.
“I’m very blessed to be alive,” Edward said. “I didn’t know this before, but they’ve lost two people on those same rocks this year… It’s a dangerous spot.”
“My friend always says, ‘God watches out for fools and babies, and you’re no baby!’” Edward said with a laugh.
He knows God was in control of the situation the whole time.
“God had a hand in it because falling eight feet onto rock and water and just getting scrapes and bruises? Praise God!” he said.