A Korean man in his mid-20’s has reportedly slipped into a coma after falling off Grand Canyon and cannot return to Korea due to legal disputes and medical bills.
The 25-year-old man, Park, is a Korean student who was studying in Canada. Park fell off a cliff at Grand Canyon on December 30, 2018.
Before returning to Korea, Park had used a travel agency to tour around Grand Canyon and he apparently slipped as he was standing near a cliff. And because he had fallen into an area where it was difficult for rescue workers to reach, a helicopter had to fly him to the nearest Flagstaff Medical Center.
Park suffered from severe head injuries and fell into a coma as a result. With numerous surgeries and treatments, medical bills have reached up to 1 billion won ($886,000 USD), according to his family, and his condition is still critical.
To make matters worse, Park’s family and the travel agency are currently involved in a dispute over responsibility for the accident. While Park’s family insists that the travel agency should take partial responsibility for the accident, the agency claims that they are not responsible as the accident occurred during the travelers’ free time.
Park’s family has indicated their desire to fly Park back to Korea for further treatment, but the cost for this transfer alone would cost 200 million won ($177,313 USD). On top of huge medical bills, they’ve indicated that they are not in a situation to be able to do this.
After hearing the news, the students and faculty of Park’s university department gathered funds of 3 million won ($2,659 USD) to help out.
Meanwhile, Park’s uncle has filed a petition, stating that the scale of the incident abroad has surpassed what can be handled by the individual and asking the Korean government to help bring Park back to Korea. The petition currently has 17,011 signatures and the number is still growing.