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VIDEO: Gyro Beach zipline passes inspection in the wake of a serious injury

"It happened so suddenly," said Ben Stanford.

"Everybody was having fun and it was great and she came up screaming."

Stanford's wife Rachel, the mother of six, had broken her neck falling from the zipline that extends into the lake at Kelowna's Gyro Beach on the May long weekend.

"Initially, it was just 'Ben ouch' and screaming. And as soon as I got close enough, she said 'neck'."

Ben, who has first aid training, did his best to stabilize his wife's spine while they got her onto the beach.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed

"I got a couple of gentlemen that could come and help, we hoisted her up and we slowly moved her with the neck immobilized onto the shore."

While they waited for an ambulance he feared the worst.

"Yeah, our mind races to the worst-case scenario," said Stanford.

<who> Photo Credit: Ben Stanford

"There was a time on the beach there where, for whatever reason, we don't know if it was the trauma from the injury, but she was completely immobilized and my mind jumped to the worst for a short period of time."

While Rachel continues to have numbness, burning pain and weakness in one arm, Stanford said the prognosis looks good.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed

"There's still the bone piece floating in the C-6 area and impinging on the nerve," explained Ben.

"It could need surgery, but there's a prognosis of potential full recovery or at least in the 90%."

He is thankful for the outpouring of support since the incident.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who> Ben Stanford

"The whole community has really stepped up and kind of wrapped themselves around us," said Ben.

"We've had offers from strangers to drive kids, to take care of them, to bring us food. The whole community has been amazing."

Stanford is putting his employment as a care aide on hold so he can care for his wife and family for a while, which is why a GoFundMe page has been started to help pay the bills.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

He's not blaming the equipment his wife was playing on when it happened.

"I know I went off this every year many times as a kid and my wife did the same thing," he said, "and it just happened this time."

The City of Kelowna closed the zipline on Sunday while the apparatus was inspected.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

The zipline re-opened Monday.

"Staff were unable to detect any obvious hazards or safety concerns," said spokesperson Tom Wilson.

"Everything in the area of the zipline seems to be in 'expected' condition."

According to the city, the accident is the first of its kind and there have not been complaints about the safety of the equipment.



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