Dylan Clark could have easily been killed in the accident.
On the night of June 15, the Marlborough teen fell nearly 73 feet off the railroad bridge between Swanzey Factory Road and Route 101 in Keene, according to his mother.
He was there to stargaze and attempted to sit down on the bridge, but lost his footing and slipped after some gravel went out from under his foot, Kimberly Clark said.
Dylan’s right leg took the brunt of the fall, breaking his shin and ankle and shattering the bones in his heel.
“Dylan should be hurt worse. It is a miracle he survived the fall, let alone with such minimal injury,” Kimberly said over Facebook Messenger. “His doctors feel it is a miracle.”
And though Kimberly said she’s grateful his injuries were limited, she said she’s had to step away from work temporarily to take care of Dylan full time, with the bills still piling up.
To help with medical and household expenses, she started a Facebook fundraiser, with a goal of $1,500. As of Thursday, just over $1,300 had been raised.
The page also asks for donations of food and clothes for Dylan, a Keene High School junior, that will fit over his external fixator — a stabilizing frame to hold the broken bones in place.
“We are very humble people and asking for any help, especially financial help, is extremely hard,” Kimberly said. “I am not sure exactly how much we will need to help us get by.”
At the time of the accident, Dylan, 17, immediately called his mom, and then 9-1-1. First responders carried him out of the scene about a half hour later to take him to Cheshire Medical Center in Keene.
He was then sent to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon for his first surgery of many, and pins were put through the bottom of his heel and shin.
Dylan had his latest surgery Thursday in Lebanon, and Kimberly said his surgeon is working to maintain the height of his right leg, so his legs aren’t uneven.
The surgeon told Dylan he will not be able to bear weight on his leg or drive for at least six months, according to Kimberly. There are some days where the pain is too much for him to even leave his bed.
Even so, Dylan said he wants to stay strong.
“I’m in a lot of pain but I’m trying to stay positive,” he said over Facebook Messenger, “and I hope I’ll heal quickly.”
This article has been changed to correct when first responders arrived at the scene of the accident and how long Dylan's first surgery took, as well as another point relative to his procedure.