The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Nicole Becerra
For The Sentinel 

The amazing spirit of Noah

 

Nicole Becerra.

ASTONISHING PROGRESS: Noah Messenger, who broke his back in a fall off a cliff near Maryhill Winery a year ago, recently walked 50 feet with the help of braces on his legs.

A year has passed since Noah Messenger survived a dangerous fall from a Maryhill cliff on May 15, 2017. The accident left him paralyzed from the waist down and nearly claimed his life as he spent two nights on the Maryhill bluffs, using his arms to drag his broken back and legs in search of help. The fierce determination that motivated him then continues to drive him today.

Now 19 years old, Messenger is doing well and recently walked 50 feet using kafos (braces) for support. He's living with a friend in Portland, Oregon, where he receives 60 to 90 minutes of physical therapy three times per week. When asked how it felt to walk that 50 feet he replied, "It felt amazing even though it was really hard work. I just got kafos to help with support, and should hopefully be using crutches pretty soon."

Messenger recently got a referral to go to Legacy Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon, which does inpatient therapy four to six hours per day. Although he has not yet gotten a car with hand controls, he hopes to get one in the future but adds that, "Everything is very expensive, even though insurance has covered quite a bit." From there he went on to explain his desire to get into stem cell treatment. This can be done one of two ways, either by participating in a clinical trial, or through private pay. Obviously private pay is quite expensive, but clinical trials are very rare and only accept about 10 people. "That's something that will improve the outcome of my injury, as far as what the medical field has to offer right now," he explains, "but it will cost quite a bit."

Looking to the future, Messenger says that he would like to go to college and study biomedical engineering; however, his focus right now is on therapy. "I'm trying to get into Stanford for therapy," he says, "but it's also a great school for biomedical engineering. Washington State University is another great school, but I don't really have any schools picked out." Although he misses his family, Messenger enjoyed celebrating Mother's Day and his little sister's fourth birthday recently, adding that he occasionally comes home on visits and that his family also visits him in Portland from time to time.

His outlook on life has changed quite a bit since the accident, and he has a lot more empathy for people with injuries. "Almost dying is definitely something that can change your outlook. Simple things like walking, you take for granted," he shares. Messenger also loves music, and took seven years of piano lessons. Although he still enjoys playing piano and guitar, he says that not being able to use the pedal on the piano is very frustrating. "The only way to do it, is to play a keyboard and put the pedal in your mouth. That's the only way people have figured out how to pedal," Messenger explains. The sustain pedal is the one pianists use the most. It gives the music a more full, rich sound and keeps everything sounding smooth and connected. While he listens to all kinds of music, Messenger enjoys playing mainly contemporary music, but also likes classical composers like Beethoven.

Another hobby Messenger misses is hiking. "I enjoy the outdoors and built a lot of forts as a kid. Before the accident, I would go on hikes and walks, listening to music as I go. I've always been a nature kind of guy," he relates.

Messenger says that his biggest encouragement is when he receives good news from a doctor. He encourages accident victims to: "Never give up, keep trying, appreciate where you are, and try to keep a positive mentality." He also wishes to thank everyone that has supported him throughout his journey. Donations may still be made to Noah Messenger's Recovery Fund at youcaring.com/noahmessenger-827576.

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018

Rendered 09/23/2018 10:25