BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor man who was rescued by city firefighters Tuesday evening after a fall from Lover’s Leap remained at Eastern Maine Medical Center, where he was in the intensive care unit late Wednesday, his fiancee said.
James Paradis, 48, underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a fractured neck vertebra, Jessica Koranda, 28, said.
“The surgery was successful,” she said, adding, “He was very lucky.” She said, however, that Paradis faces a long period of recovery. He might need further surgery and has been fitted with a halo brace to prevent spinal damage, she said.
According to Koranda, Paradis fell roughly 50 feet after he climbed a tree near the top of Lover’s Leap, the local name for a steep cliff overlooking the Kenduskeag Stream.
Koranda said that she and Paradis had been hiking the path that follows the stream before the accident occurred. She said Paradis had climbed a tree shortly before the fall because he wanted to get some good shots of the view from the cliff with his camera.
When he climbed the tree a second time, this time without a camera, he slipped from the tree and fell onto a ledge and then another ledge before tumbling down toward the stream.
“I felt helpless,” she said. “I was screaming his name and there was a guy at the top who heard me and called for help. His name is Chris. That’s all I know.”
Koranda said Wednesday that Paradis also suffered a broken tailbone and ribs in the fall.
She said she planned to remain at EMMC until he is out of intensive care.