Strangers On Facebook Help Skydiver Cover Medical Bills After 12,000 Foot Jump Goes Wrong

Image via Facebook/Ben Cornick Donation Page

Welsh skydiver Ben Cornick is lucky to be alive, and just as lucky to not be buried in medical bills.

The 31-year-old skydiver had a 12,000-foot jump go wrong on Jan. 14. He fell to the ground at a speed of 40 mph and eventually landed atop a parked van. He broke his right femur in three places, shattered his left elbow and broke an arm.

It was an unusual accident for Cornick, who is an experienced skydiving instructor with more than 2,500 jumps under his belt.

His employer Tim Joyce, owner and chief instructor at Skydive Fiji, explained the incident to ABC News. In short, Cornick lost control of the parachute’s steering mechanism. That caused him to veer off-course, and he had to make a crash landing.

It was a combination of a very high-speed maneuver and no margin of error… In 10 years, we’ve never had anything related to this, and it was very distressing,” Joyce said.

Cornick was rushed to a hospital and has already undergone several pricy surgeries. Just the emergency flight to the hospital cost roughly $33,100.

Typically, Skydive Fiji would cover medical bills for personal injuries sustained on the job. However, Cornick’s unsuccessful jump was done on his own time with his own equipment, so the uninsured individual is responsible for all his own medical bills.

Knowing the onslaught of bills was imminent, Cornick and his parents turned to Facebook for some financial help. They set up a donation page, and big money started to pour in almost immediately. As of yesterday, friends, family and strangers have donated nearly $83,000 to go toward Cornick’s medical bills.