On July 5, a climber of Penticton’s Skaha Bluffs fell almost 40 feet causing life-altering injuries. His brother has now started a GoFundMe to help him on his long and challenging road to recovery.
Ward Jensen’s brother Brett organized the GoFundMe which has already raised over $6,000.
According to his brother, Ward was pursuing his passion for climbing when he fell 30 to 40 feet and was seriously injured.
It took the combined efforts of Penticton and District’s Search and Rescue and the assistance of other climbers to carry Ward out through rugged terrain. Jensen was flown to Kelowna Hospital and later to Vancouver.
According to Brett, his brother is now facing a severe disability and a long, challenging recovery with a further month or more in the hospital in Vancouver and then eight to nine months of rehabilitation.
“Ward’s passion in life was climbing; there was nothing that he enjoyed more. Ward was well-known and active in the climbing community and helped to train many others,” the GoFundMe reads.
The Skaha Bluffs climbing community is also supporting Ward.
“[Ward has] always been quick to share route beta, give directions, suggest routes, and give kudos to all you amazing climbers. Now he needs some help,” said fellow climber Mark Carriere on Facebook.
Ward has always been a kind and generous person, said Brett.
“He cared for my mother, feeding and caring for her as she lost her mobility over two years due to dementia and strokes. Ward decided he wanted to help others in similar situations, so he studied to become a care worker. Ward had just completed his training and was excited about starting at an aged care facility.”
Ward will need equipment such as a wheelchair, ramps, home renovations and eventually an altered vehicle he can drive. Ward’s wife will be supporting him through his recovery which means they will have little or no income to get by on, especially while he is in the hospital in Vancouver, said Brett Jensen.
Ward’s brother provided an update on July 9, after getting to talk to his brother for the first time since the accident.
“He is already talking about the things he can still do rather than what he can’t do anymore,” said Brett.
He also noted that Ward is very grateful to everyone for their support.