Posted: Aug 11, 2012 10:34 PM
Updated: Aug 12, 2012 12:19 AM
TUCSON - A University of Arizona student was critically injured by a Grand Canyon rockslide.
The 19 year-old was out hiking the canyon, when a sudden storm loosened some rocks on a cliff, knocking him unconscious.
Right now, Austin Kilkemeyer is at a Flagstaff hospital in critical condition.
Doctors say he suffered a traumatic brain injury, broken spine and punctured lung.
The accident happened August 2nd.
Austin was hiking with a cousin, who carried him down the trail, where park rangers worked to save his life.
Austin was then air lifted out.
His father says it was his second trip to the Grand Canyon.
"Austin is a very active teenager who enjoys sports of all kinds, particularly basketball and hiking. Not a week goes by that he doesn't do some kind of hike," Gerhard Hilkemeyer said.
The 19 year old, studying environmental science has expressed career interest with the forest or park service.
For now, the family focus is getting Austin stable enough for transport to a Tucson hospital.
"We are being as optimistic as we can, and I believe that since Austin is young and strong he will prevail," Austin's mom Tina Hilkemeyer said.
There's a website and Facebook page dedicated to Austin's recovery. Family, friends, and classmates are posting updates and well wishes.
One photo reads 'get work done, then have some fun'.
A personal motto Austin shared with his parents on their drive to the Grand Canyon.
A sentiment, they now hold close to their hearts.
The family does have insurance, but not all expenses are covered.
If you'd like to help the family out, donations of any amount can be made at any Wells Fargo branch in his name.
PayPal donations are also being accepted, visit www.hilkemeyer.com for more information.
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