When Dixie Regional Medical Center trustee and experienced hiker John Ames visited Snow Canyon State Park last March, he never dreamed he would leave fighting for his life. Stepping down a ridge, Ames lost his footing and tumbled nearly 40 feet over the edge of a cliff.

A Life Flight helicopter arrived within 20 minutes, but there was no spot to land. So two crews dropped in on foot. To reach Ames, they had to complete two rappels of 40 and 195 feet, which took a grueling four hours. Ames, enduring without pain medication, was rolled onto a stretcher, carried to the waiting helicopter, and rushed to Dixie Regional.

There, doctors discovered massive injuries. Ames had a broken rib, sacrum, and tailbone, a punctured lung, and a badly fractured pelvis. After extensive surgery, followed by weeks of rehabilitation and physical therapy at Dixie Regional, Ames eventually recovered and re-learned the skills needed for independence.

John Ames and his wife, Lisa, have been generous donors to Dixie Regional Medical Center for years and said this experience underscores the importance of giving to support the hospital. “Our experiences helped us realize that you need something in life more important than yourself,” Ames said. “We chose medical care as a cause to support. I’ve got another surgery coming, and I know I’m in good hands.”