Ben Cornick, 31, defied death after a 12,000-foot skydiving jump in Fiji went horribly wrong and he crash-landed against the back of an open van, fracturing several bones, on Tuesday.
Cornick, who had been working as a skydiving instructor with Skydive Fiji, was attempting a difficult high-speed ‘swoop landing’ when he lost control of the parachute’s steering toggle. He smacked into the van parked on the landing strip, breaking an arm, shattering an elbow and cracking his right femur in three places. It was later determined that he had also broken his hip bone.
Cornick, who was not insured for jumps not associated with his work — this one had been on on his own time — was unable to receive the treatment he needed, as doctors in Fiji were not equipped to deliver the level of care his injuries required.
Cornick had to be transported to Auckland, New Zealand, but the emergency flight service wouldn’t move until they received payment up front, and the delay put Cornick at risk of losing his leg to infection.
To collect enough money for the urgent care, Cornick’s cousin, Ricky Davies promptly put together a donations page on Facebook, and contributions reached the flight price within hours.
Friends, fellow skydivers and total strangers chipped in to get about $50,000 together. Cornick is getting the need he cares and will hopefully soon be able to return to the U.K. to see his family, including his young son, Alfie.