Macciza Macpherson remains stable in the hospital
A mountaineer who was stranded on a cliff for 23 hours after slipping may have had both feet amputated.
Macciza Macpherson, 57, completed a standard trek in the Blue Mountains on Sunday, May 17, when a sling attached to his armor was tied to a branch and unbalanced.
What was a ‘simple and easy mistake’ to make quickly became life-threatening when he fell 40 meters from a cliff at Point Pilcher near Medlow Bath.
Mr. Macpherson, who has decades of climbing experience in the region, spent 23 hours on the ledge as temperatures dropped to 6 ° C and rescue crews worked to free him before eventually being flown to Westmead Hospital.
Mr. Macpherson’s family told Daily Mail Australia that he has had two surgeries since then and that he has two more to treat some of his extensive injuries later in the week.
He is in a stable condition but is facing months – possibly years – of intensive rehabilitation to treat two shattered ankles, both of which may still have to be amputated.
The experienced climber (pictured with his children) spent 23 hours in falling temperatures as Police Rescue and paramedics worked to free him
Mr. Macpherson has never experienced a broken bone during his ascent
“In a real dad way, he didn’t do a half-hearted job,” explained his daughter, Shana Connellan.
“The team is doing its best to save both feet. At this stage, both ankles may need or lose fusion, “she said.
Some of his leg wounds require skin grafts and free flap surgery, which carries a 50 percent risk of infection and a 75 percent chance of bone tissue dying from a lack of blood supply.
The cuts in his arm are muscle deep, meaning medical teams are still trying to clean the exposed bones before further action can be taken.
“The pain was pretty severe, but he’s getting a little better every day,” she said.
Some of his leg wounds require skin grafts and free flap surgery, which carries a 50 percent risk of infection and a 75 percent chance of bone tissue dying from lack of blood supply
The man fell 40 yards off the cliff at Point Pilcher near Medlow Bath in the NSW Blue Mountains
Doctors predicted that it will take at least three months from the date of his last surgery to even try to get up, followed by rehabilitation to learn to walk again.
Ms. Connellan said her father first started experimenting with climbing in the 1970s, but has spent much of his life on cliffs since the 1990s, including some of the most dangerous Australia has to offer.
Not once in the decades since he first started climbing has he experienced as much as a broken bone, but he’s always been aware of the risks.
It was as easy as putting your pocket on a door handle.
“He uses protective equipment along with the natural rock features to climb cliffs over 100 meters high,” she explained.
But the accident could have happened to the best climbers, Macpherson told Daily Mail Australia.
‘[It was] similar to someone who falls from grabbing a door handle or stumbling on an uneven sidewalk, “he explained.
He said that a small device hung from his harness and got caught on part of the cliff as he walked up and pulled it off the wall.
Mr. Macpherson’s family (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia that he has had two surgeries since then and has two more to treat some of his extensive injuries later in the week
Mr. Macpherson and his family said they were eternally grateful to the rescue crews who worked tirelessly to get him to safety.
“What an incredible effort in difficult circumstances,” said Connellan. “We are always grateful.”
His friends and the climbing community have been behind him since fall and have raised nearly $ 12,000 for his to date recovery fund.
“Macca is an icon in the Blue Mountains climbing community,” the fundraiser explained.
“He lives simple, climbs regularly and likes to share his knowledge and skills with many.”
Mr Macpherson said that any money left after he has recovered will be donated to the organizations that have contributed to his rescue.
Mr. Macpherson and his family said they were eternally grateful to the rescue crews who worked tirelessly to get him to safety
The shirtless man, presumably in his fifties, fell halfway up the rock face at Point Pilcher near Medlow Bath on Sunday at around 4 p.m.