Kennewick teen seriously injured after fall from rope swing at Oregon camp

By Annette Cary, Tri-City HeraldJuly 16, 2013 

A Kennewick teen was seriously injured Monday when she fell from a high rope swing at a church camp in Eastern Oregon.

Cassidy Almquist, the daughter of Mark and Kari Almquist, was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland and then flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

She fell from as high as 45 to 50 feet off the ground, said her father. Online photos of other people using the swing show them soaring high among tall evergreens, wearing a safety harness and helmet.

Cassidy, who turns 18 in August, was in surgery Tuesday afternoon and her family was encouraged by the results.

She is expected to need four to five surgeries to repair her injuries, her father said.

On Tuesday, a surgeon was able to see that despite a crushed vertebra, her spinal cord was not severed. She is paralyzed now, with her family hopeful that she may regain movement.

"She's doing very well," Mark Almquist said. "Things look good."

Her other injuries include broken bones in her lower leg and a broken elbow, pelvis and sternum. Her father had heard a comment that she was wearing a helmet when she fell.

Many in her family have gathered in Seattle, but a prayer meeting was planned Tuesday evening at Calvary Chapel Tri-Cities in Kennewick, with many of her friends expected to attend.

Cassidy will be a senior this fall at Southridge High School.

She sings and plays the piano, her father said. She's active in the Community Bible Church in Kennewick, where she is on several worship teams.

"The family asks that people pray for healing," her father said.

A Facebook page has been created called "Praying for Cassidy" with updates on her and prayer requests. More than 2,000 people had "liked" the page Tuesday night.

Her medical care is expected to be expensive and an account has been set up to help her family with expenses. Donations may be made to "DA Cassidy Almquist" at Sterling Bank, 138 Vista Way, Kennewick, WA 99336.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service