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Forest Falls Girl Who Fell 30-35 Feet is Recovering, Mother Asks for Prayers

DeAnne Shepler asks for prayers and 'positive vibes' for 9-year-old Genny and her three siblings, who were with Genny when she fell and helped save her from drowning.

Update 3:31 p.m. Genny Shepler's condition Monday afternoon was listed as serious, with stable vital signs, a Loma Linda University Medical Center spokeswoman said.

Posted 12:51 p.m. A 9-year-old Forest Falls girl who fell 30 to 35 feet near a steep cataract in Mill Creek Canyon a week ago is recovering from a skull fracture that put her into a coma, according to her family.

Her mother, DeAnne Shepler, asks for prayers for 9-year-old Genny and her three siblings, who were with Genny when she fell and helped save her from drowning.

Genny was out hiking with a group on Monday July 30 in the Upper Falls area of Big Falls, near the end of Valley of the Falls Drive, according to the Sheriff's Department.

When Genny fell, her sister Hanna Shepler, 13, also fell, sustaining minor injuries, DeAnne Shepler said in a message to Redlands-Loma Linda Patch on Sunday.

"Even with falling 25 feet, she still was able to get Genny's head out of the water, so she would not drown," Shepler said.

Genny's brothers, Tristan Besnia, 13, and Gage Besnia, 12, were also there, and they helped save Genny by rolling her over when she began to vomit, "even though adults were yelling at them not to touch her," Shepler said.

"The docs say she would most likely would not have survived without their quick and precise actions," Shepler said.

A call for help reached sheriff's dispatch at 1:44 p.m. that day, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Forest Service and County Fire personnel hiked up to Genny and placed her in a rescue litter, and a sheriff's helicopter crew hoisted her to the airship for the flight to a local hospital.

Genny was initially considered comatose and has been placed on sedation while she recovers at Loma Linda University Medical Center. She is on a respirator and fighting a lung infection.

The Sheplers have set up a CaringBridge site with photos of Genny and updates on her condition. CaringBridge is supported by donations. For more information visit www.caringbridge.org.

is one of the most popular destinations in Mill Creek Canyon. A weather-beaten sign at a trailhead below the falls warns visitors of the hazards:

"Wet rocks below the waterfalls and unstable cliffs have resulted in falls that have claimed many lives."

Forest Falls is about 20 miles northeast of downtown Redlands, in a box canyon that provides access to the mountainous San Gorgonio Wilderness.

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Linda hinkle August 09, 2012 at 05:53 PM
God rescued me, when my life looked hopeless, so I'm asking Him 2 heal genny completely, because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today & forever. Your will, my Father, in all these matters 4 this grieving family. Show Yourself mighty! In the holy Name of Jesus, amen.
Anti Christ August 12, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Yes! thank you lord!.... Or it could be hundreds of years of controlled experiments and countless innovations that are helping this child. Not to mention the doctors that have spent years studying and perfecting their profession and the scientist that study brain trauma everyday in order to help this little girl. Thank you so much false idol!
Mamma Hen August 18, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Your 'name' says it all. You have no place here. And certainly have no right to put your two worthless cents in. If you were in her place you would need and benefit from prayers to make up for everything that even science cannot repair or explain. Leave this family alone to their prayers and go crawl back under your rock. Our prayers are with you, Genny.
Mamma Hen August 18, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Everyone, please also pray that this 'Anti Christ' is struck by lighting so that he can 'see the light'. If he doesn't have faith, the least he can do is be a decent enough human being and keep his mouth shut about it.
hanna shepler September 25, 2012 at 09:28 PM
hey this is hanna shepler and i just want everyone to know she is now at a rehab in Orange County! Doing much better!
Guy McCarthy (Editor) October 04, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Girl Who Survived Skull Fracture, Coma Gets a Visit From LA Kings' Stanley Cup http://patch.com/A-yvkf

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