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BASE Jumper Cheats Death, Severs Foot

Testing the boundaries and pushing the limits is the lifestyle of a BASE jumper. That’s when people jump off things and use a parachute to break their fall. But one Utah man didn’t land successfully.

MOAB, Utah (ABC 4 Utah)- Testing the boundaries and pushing the limits is the lifestyle of a BASE jumper. That’s when people jump off things and use a parachute to break their fall. But one Utah man didn’t land successfully.

Ammon McNeely is from Saint George. This past weekend, he went to Moab to teach a friend how to BASE jump. That lesson ended with McNeely nearly severing off his foot.

43-year-old BASE jumper Ammon McNeely is recovering at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado and spoke with ABC 4 Utah via Facetime.

“Controlling that adrenaline and controlling that fear,” said BASE jumper Ammon McNeely.

That’s how McNeely describes his love for BASE jumping off cliffs relying solely on a parachute. But after eight years, McNeely’s luck ran out on Friday.

“The parachute comes out and instead of coming away from the cliff, we are falling toward the cliff which is very bad,” said McNeely.

He went slamming into the side of the mountain taking off most of his foot. But what’s most shocking is how he handled it all.

“Well, that didn't go good,” said McNeely.

He spoke so calmly taking to the camera that attached to his helmet.

“Sorry mom. I think I lost my leg on that one,” said McNeely.

Talking into the camera all while bleeding out three pints of blood from a nearly severed foot.

“I lost my leg guys…it hurts. But I didn't die,” said McNeely.

Now the video’s gone viral. Most people can’t believe it actually happened.

“I knew that if I freaked out, my heart was going to start racing and I was going to lose more blood and I just knew that it wasn’t going to do any good,” said McNeely.

McNeely wrapped up his foot and waited for emergency crews to air lift him to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Colorado. He snapped his tibia, fibula, and did some nerve and muscle damage. Five surgeries later, McNeely remains in great spirits. So will he BASE jump again? The answer is simple.

“Of course I regret that I got injured. And I would do it again. And I’m going to continue to do it again,” said McNeely.

McNeely expects to be in the hospital for another couple of weeks. He has three or four more surgeries ahead. And then he hopes to walk again in six months and even BASE jump shortly thereafter.

To see the unedited version of the video clip, click here
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