Boy who fell off Mt. Hood cliff: 'I can't believe I'm alive' - KPTV - FOX 12

Boy who fell off Mt. Hood cliff: 'I can't believe I'm alive'

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Cole and Kim Hancock Cole and Kim Hancock
Cole Hancock Cole Hancock
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A boy who plummeted 50 yards down a cliff on Mt. Hood had his condition upgraded Wednesday and then he joined his dad in the hospital to talk about his recovery.

Cole Hancock has been in the hospital since his fall July 23 while hiking during a camping trip in the White River area.

The 10-year-old boy had been hiking with his father for about three hours and the pair set up camp for the night. As it started to get dark, they decided to hike up a hill and snap some photos toward the top.

On the way back down, the boy lost his balance and fell. He suffered a fractured skull, among other injuries. His father rushed to his side, picked him up and ran back to their campsite. However, it took hours for rescue crews to reach them.

"I'm alive," Cole said Wednesday. "I can't believe I'm alive."

Kim Hancock said his son likely suffered some brain damage, but doctors are optimistic he'll regain full cognitive ability.

Just two days ago, Cole couldn't even say one word. Wednesday, he was speaking in full sentences. He said he doesn't remember anything about the fall.

"I think he's doing phenomenal," Hancock said. "And the speech therapists think he's doing great and we're hoping for him to go to school in the fall."

Cole is in fair condition at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, but his family is hopeful he'll be released as soon as Thursday. From there, he'll be transferred to Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center where he'll undergo speech therapy and continue to recover.

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