ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The 12-year-old boy who was seriously injured when he fell down a cliff in the Jemez last week is making quite the recovery and should be home soon.
“I was thinking the worst, I even told my family, we were fearing the worst,” Jacob Braunschweiger’s father Tony told KRQE News 13 on Wednesday from UNM Hospital’s pediatric specialty care unit.
The Branschweigers were hiking last Tuesday morning in the Jemez when their laid-back spring break trip took a terrifying turn.
“We were having a good time, and we got to the point we wanted to get to and then we started heading back,” Tony recalled. “That’s when he had his fall.”
The sixth grader was hiking at the front of the group, when he toppled over a cliff and fell about 30 feet.
“I just got to him as fast as I could and put him in a position where he could be comfortable, and his mom stayed with him and prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and I ran for help,” Tony said.
Jacob was unconscious and unresponsive. It was about an hour before rescue crews reached him.
He fractured several bones in the fall, received a deep gash on one leg, and suffered a small bleed in his brain. Jacob is now on the mend and could be back home Sunday.
His family said they’ve been blown away by the outpouring of support from Jacob’s Rio Rancho middle school, his baseball team, even complete strangers.
“Our support group is huge,” Tony said. “The prayers are why he’s here. His sense of humor has come back and he’s back with us. He’s frustrated, he wants to go home, but thank God he’s still here and he’s doing so much better.”
Jacob’s parents say he could go to UNM Carrie Tingley Hospital for a few days before he heads home.
They hope he can go back to Lincoln Middle School in Rio Rancho in time for finals week. Jacob says he can’t wait to get back on the baseball field once his arm heals.