One day before celebrating a happy 25th birthday, Gil Tighe survived a fall of more than 100 feet onto some rocks while hiking. Tighe had to be rescued by helicopter Friday at Hug Point State Park, south of Cannon Beach, by the Coast Guard.
Tighe, who uses the pronouns they and them, suffered multiple injuries but say they are glad not to be dead by 25.
Tighe and their partner traveled to the Oregon Coast. The hikers found a trail they hadn't hiked before but thought it would be short and it looked well-traveled. But the path was narrow and only a few feet in, Tighe slipped and fell.
“My left arm is super broken, probably needs a metal plate in it,” Tighe said. "Fractures in my face, nose, ribs, left elbow, hip … So, I'm in a lot of pain right now, but feeling pretty positive about the amount I'm going to heal, which is incredible considering I fell 100 feet onto the rocks, and here I am walking away only needing one surgery.”
Tighe is thankful to be alive but said as they lay there for almost an hour, they believed death was imminent.
“I just kept telling them, 'I'm gonna die soon,’" Tighe said.
Tighe was open about battling with depression and suicidal thoughts earlier in life, but overcoming that.
“I didn't want to die when I have a good life, good partner, warm house. It's my birthday, I'm not dying at 25,” they said. “To be able to be at this place as an adult and be like 'No I want to live,' is a pretty awesome development for me."
While they're thankful to be alive, Tighe is especially thankful for the volunteers and crew who helped give them a second chance.
“Without them, I'd be dead right now,” Tighe said. "All our health care workers and all our paramedic responders who came through, they really did save my life."
Tighe is young and has plenty of life to live, but said will never forget 25.
“Yeah I have to say, wasn't sure my 25th birthday would top the last two parties I had, but this will definitely be the hardest to forget.”
If you or someone you love need help, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 at 800-273-8255.