A dramatic experience of a volleyball player surviving miraculously even after falling fifty feet off a waterfall led her to renewing her faith in God.
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The freak accident captured on video and shared around the world happened when Heather Friesen was hiking in Hawaii.
She shared her dramatic story speaking on the podcast “In the World of Female Sports.” Heather explained how that horrific accident led to a renewed faith that God is watching over her.
In 2016, Friesen was hiking with friends along the Ka’au Crater Trail, when the group came near the first waterfall on the route. Friesen wanted a closer look at the fall, and got closer to the drop-off, a mistake which changed her life forever.
“I was up at the top just trying to look over the edge of the waterfall,” Friesen said, “In the World of Female Sports.”
“I got too close, and I ended up slipping and falling off the waterfall.” She grabbed on to one of the rocks at the top but couldn’t get a firm grip as she was falling at a rapid pace.
“I can still picture it in my head,” she recalled. “But it was too slippery so I kept falling.”
Her GoPro, strapped to her head at the time, recorded the fall, showing water, brush and rocks rush past the hiker’s body, as she came to a thudding stop at the bottom. But miraculously she survived with no head injuries, she remained conscious during the entire time.
“I could barely breathe, so that’s why I knew something was wrong because my left lung had collapsed,” she said. “It almost felt like my whole left side couldn’t move.”
Her friends rushed to her side waiting anxiously for the arrival of a rescue team to air-lift Friesen to a hospital. Although Friesen could stand, she couldn’t breathe, and the group thought that they would not be able to carry her back to the trailhead. So they waited.
Friesen said that she never thought that she would die, finding out later on that her friends were afraid she would pass away.
A group of friends from her church were on the same trail at that time, and stumbled upon Friesen and her friends as they were waiting for the helicopter and immediately started praying for her.
Even as she was being airlifted after the ordeal, the volleyball player was overcome by a sense of calm. “I just remember looking up, and it was such a beautiful day out. I felt so much peace,” she said. “I just felt God’s presence in a crazy way that I’ve never felt before in my life.”
Friesen was diagnosed with 10 broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a fractured shoulder blade. She said something else happened to her, “My faith really grew from this accident,” she said. “And that was the game-changer. I couldn’t get through this without God as number one.”
She realized her priorities in life were wrong, she valued her career, goals and abilities as a volleyball player more than her faith in God. “There’s things that we want — success, fame and all that. I feel like that’s what I was searching for. Who doesn’t want to have success with what they’re doing? But I think that my eyes were focused on the wrong thing. I needed to be focused on what God wanted for my life,” she said.
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Friesen was being honest when she said, “I should have died that day,” she said, “But I didn’t. He chose to save my life.” Friesen has gone on to make a full recovery and still plays volleyball.
She has also found out that many people have died on the same falls and her survival is truly a miracle.
She truly hopes that her story will inspire others to put God first in their life. “I really feel that God chose to save me that day to share my story and to share what He’s done in my life,” she said. “I wouldn’t be here without Him.”
Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Watch Heather Friesen’s miraculous story below.