NEWS

Toronto doctor rescued from cliff in Arizona

04/06/2013 01:05 EDT | Updated 06/06/2013 05:12 EDT
A Toronto doctor was rescued on Friday in Arizona when she was discovered stranded and dangling off a cliff during a hike she set out on the day before.

The hotel, where she was a guest, discovered that Elise Héon, an ophthalmologist at the Hospital for Sick Children, was missing when she missed her check-out time on Thursday. The staff noticed Héon left behind her wallet and cellphone, which sparked concern.

A search party was organized and rescue teams searched steadily throughout the evening and into Friday morning.

Héon was discovered in Oak Creek Canyon just north of Flagstaff, Ariz., after a nearby resident heard her crying for help and yelling that she did not want to die.

Rescuers from a number of emergency organizations in the area joined the effort. Héon was rescued by a helicopter, which used a rope and harness to hoist her from a ledge 200 metres above the canyon floor.

"We were just horrified to hear that this kind of tragic accident had occurred, and very worried for her safety," said Marilyn Monk, executive vice-president of clinical programs and services at Sick Kids. "And, of course, we're extremely relieved and grateful to the rescuers and really looking forward to having her back."

Héon's family watched the rescue live over the internet and told the media that they were relieved.

Officials at the Sedona Medical Center in Arizona where Héon was treated after her rescue said she was released and left in good condition.

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