- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - A 20-year-old man remains in a coma after he fell from a cliff in northern Alabama, his relatives say.

Ernest “Ernie” Lee Hendrix Jr. of Madison County fractured his skull in the fall, said his stepfather, Bill Wilson. The injury caused the blood flow and oxygen to his brain to slow down, Wilson said.

Rescue crews found Hendrix at the bottom of the cliff on Green Mountain in Huntsville. He was hiking alone on June 27 and fell nearly 80 feet, authorities said.

Hendrix has been making small movements with his right arm and right leg, Wilson told The Decatur Daily (https://bit.ly/1HQkkL1 ).

“We are hoping for a miracle,” Wilson said.

“We think he’s going to make it, but it’s going to be a whole lot of work,” Wilson added. “We are trying to get any help that might be out there. We really don’t know what the future might hold. This brain injury was pretty traumatic.”

He said the family was considering transferring him from Huntsville Hospital to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, which specializes in spinal cord and brain injuries.

Hendrix is a 2013 graduate of Athens High School in Athens, Alabama, where he played football. He was training for an August hiking trip to Colorado when the accident occurred, Wilson said.

“He’d been up there several times,” Wilson said. “It was just a freak thing. He was supposed to be hiking with somebody.”

___

Information from: The Decatur Daily, https://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/index.shtml

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