Rochester woman who survived 100 ft fall from a cliff is going home


ROCHESTER, Minn. – Amber Kohnhorst, who survived after falling 100 ft while hiking, is going home to Wisconsin to recover.

On May 20th, the St. Mary’s nurse was hiking in Arizona when she fell 100 feet and survived 24 hours before being rescued by helicopter.

We first spoke with Amber when she was in a Utah hospital receiving care. With her surgeons approval, she was able to be transferred to St. Mary’s Hospital where she has been continuing treatment.

“We’re just so glad she’s alive, it’s been a rough road but we can’t wait to get her home and we have her,” says an emotional Nanette Kohnhorst, Amber’s Mother.

Nearly three weeks after falling while hiking, spending 24 hours extremely injured without food or water, followed by a number of surgeries and tests; Amber is being released from the hospital.

“I’m excited to go home, I’m a little bit nervous because it will be my first time out of the hospital but my surgeons have told me with my nursing background, “Amber, just be careful you know what you can and can’t do,” and that’s true,” explains Amber.

She was brought to St. Mary’s after receiving surgery in Utah after the accident.

“My fracture is called an H-type fracture and so it’s basically, my sacrum is split down and across so it’s a very unique fracture which means that I have to be very careful.”

Doctors say it will be 10 weeks of minimal walking, something the active 25-year old says is a hard reality to cope with.

“It’s the time we do everything, and I’m stuck inside. But I’ll get over it, I just have to remember that it’s one year, it’s only ten weeks and hopefully after that I can do more,” she says.

Amber’s Mom knows her recovery journey won’t be an easy process but says the bottom line is that she is alive.

“She had to have an angel on her side because every time we look at this picture of the fall, it’s just amazing that she’s here,” says Nanette. “Everybody is in awe. So I guess God has a plan.”

Amber says she’s grateful for all the support she’s received from people all across the country. She and her family remain in close contact with the people she met in Utah and hope to make the trip back as soon as she can. She’s even looking forward to being able to hike once again.

She will return to Rochester in 2 months for another check up. In the mean time, her friends and co-workers have created a GoFundMe page to help offset the medical costs. Follow the link below to help.

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