Tags: skydiver | seizure | rescue | video | viral

Skydiver's Seizure Knocks Him Out; Instructor Makes Emergency Rescue

By    |   Monday, 02 Mar 2015 02:37 PM

An Australian skydiver had an epileptic seizure right after jumping out of an airplane at 12,000 feet, forcing his instructor to make a mid-air emergency rescue in a video that went viral this week.

Skydiver Christopher Jones posted video to YouTube Sunday showing the footage recorded by his instructor's helmet cam during the November 2014 jump. The clip, which has attracted more than 4.5 million views in a day, shows Jones plummeting through the air in a freefall after going unconscious during the seizure.

“Possibly the scariest moment of my life. On the 14th of November 2014 while doing stage five of my Accelerated Free Fall program I have a near death experience,” Jones wrote in the YouTube caption. “At around 9,000 ft. I have a seizure while attempting a left hand turn. I then spend the next 30 seconds in free fall unconscious. Thankfully my jumpmaster manages to pull my ripcord at around 4,000 ft. I become conscious at 3,000 ft. and land safely back to the ground.”

Jones’ instructor, Sheldon McFarlane, told NBC News that he doesn’t like being called a “hero.”

“Just doing my job, just doing what we train to do,” he said.

Jones, however, feels differently.

“He initially thought that I had kind of freaked out, didn’t know what was happening,” he said. “He didn’t realize until we actually reviewed the footage and I told him that I blacked out.”

“(Christopher's) treating specialist wrote a letter specifically saying he was fit for skydiving," Robin O'Neill, chief instructor at the western Australia skydiving academy, told Australia Broadcasting Corporation News. "Obviously he wasn't. That was the end of his skydiving career."

Jones told ABC News that he’d always wanted to fly, but that being a pilot was out of the question because of his epilepsy. He had been seizure-free for four years and thought it would be safe to skydive. In addition, he said, there was an automatic opening device on the parachute that would have opened it when he reached a certain altitude regardless.

“I've always wanted to have the feeling of flight, so I just thought, considering I can't fly a plane due to my condition, I thought I'd give it a go,” he told ABC.



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An Australian skydiver had an epileptic seizure right after jumping out of an airplane at 12,000 feet, forcing his instructor to make a mid-air emergency rescue in a video that went viral this week.
skydiver, seizure, rescue, video, viral
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2015-37-02
Monday, 02 Mar 2015 02:37 PM
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