A fundraiser on behalf of critically injured rock climber Makayla Castro, 18, was held 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 28 at EscoGelato, 122 S Kalmia, Escondido. Twenty percent of all proceeds will be donated to Kayla and her family to relieve some of the financial pressures they face, organizers said.
The Escondido teen was nearing the end of her freshman year at Grand Canyon University as she hiked on landmark Camelback Mountain Wednesday, April 20. She was free-climbing a very rugged stretch when she lost her grip and plunged up to 100 feet on the jagged rocks, suffering several broken bones and a traumatic head injury.
Kayla now lies at a Phoenix hospital in a medically-induced coma. Attending physicians said they believed the next 24 to 48 hours were critical in her recovery process.
“We have so many people praying for her and we believe in the power of prayer,” Allison Castro, her mother, said to KPNX-TV at Phoenix.
Father Larry Castro said: “She had finals to finish the following day. I actually went to the place where she climbed, and I’ll tell you what, it’s a very hard climb.”
Larry Castro added: “It was a little out of character, doing a climb like that … when she wakes up and I talk to her, I’m going to hug her, kiss her, and then I’m going to give her a little scolding because I just don’t get it.”
Kayla graduated from San Pasqual High School last year. Pink ribbons are being tied to trees across Escondido in her honor.
San Diego FOX 5 talked to her friends and classmates at Grand Canyon University who are staying by her side at Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center.
Mark Fuson and Siena Heideman said hiking in that area is one of their favorite things to do with Makayla. They said she was lucky she didn’t break her neck and she was making progress, but it’s slow.
The gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/2jcag2pg already has raised close to $30,000 from 465 people for medical expenses almost a week after the accident.