— Wishing Star (@WishingStarFdtn) September 18, 2019
Noah’s wish is to meet Elon Musk. We are asking everyone to share his story with the hashtag #NoahforElonMusk on social media, so that his story can reach Elon. Below is a transcript of the speech Noah gave at our recent Wishes & Wine event, where he tells his story and explains his wish.
I am in a wheel chair, but 2 1/2 years I was just like most of you. I could walk up those stairs instead of fighting with my wheelchair to make it up that ramp. I used to love running and enjoyed 5ks and hiking and staying active.
I grew up dreaming, always thinking about my future and goals that I wanted to accomplish. I felt unstoppable, it never crossed my mind that anything would happen to me, especially this.
When I was 17, I got my dream job at a winery doing grounds maintenance and concert prep. I loved it, the people I worked with were my friends and I enjoyed going to work every day, working overtime whenever I could.
I have always loved being outside. I had been working for just over a year, I lived with my co-workers and so we carpooled to work each day.
On May 15th, a normal Monday evening, I had just clocked out and told the person I was carpooling with that I was going to be down in the orchard area below the winery where I usually ate my lunch. It was a beautiful spot overlooking the Columbia River and in the spring it is an amazing view. I found a rock to sit on and just relaxed for about 15 minutes.
I decided to get up and go explore another area. I had barely stood up when my foot slipped on some loose rocks and I fell backwards off the cliff. As I was falling I remember a million thoughts going through my head. I knew it was going to bad because I could tell I was falling for a long time.
When I hit the ground I immediately felt my back break. Looking at my legs it confirmed it all the more. my legs were not in line with my body and it startled me to see them that way. I laid there for a while and just kind of took in what was going on and what I was going to do. I looked for my phone to call 911 but my phone had dropped out of my pocket and I couldn’t find it. so I just laid there and yelled as loud as I could. I yelled and yelled but nobody came.
I was sure my car pool would be coming but I couldn’t hear anyone yelling for me. After a couple of hours the sun was going down and I knew that my carpool had probably left work by that time.
I decided to see if I could move myself up the hill a little further to get to a point where people could hear me better. I rolled myself onto my stomach and attempted to army crawl up the hill. That wasn’t possible.
I then tried turning myself back around to try and get back to where the ground was a little flatter, because the ground was a very sharp decline on jagged rocks, but as soon as my body was sideways my legs flopped over and I began to uncontrollably roll down the hillside. As I was rolling I was frantically trying to get a hold of the rocks or ground to stop my roll. When I finally did, I just yelled and yelled at the top of my lungs for someone to help me. there is no way to describe the fear of falling and not having control of half your body as you’re doing so.
So after yelling for help for a while it was getting dark and I knew at this point that I was probably going to be spending the night outside. I knew it was going to rain that night because I had checked the weather earlier. It was also pretty cold at the time. I spent the first night there awake just hoping that at any momentI would see a flashlight or hear someone yelling for me, but no one came.
It was starting to get light when I thought it would be a good idea to be more out in the open where people could see me better. I pulled my body over the rocks and began yelling as loud as I could again. I would yell, get out of breath, and then listen for a little bit, then yell again.
I did this for hours but there was never an answer and no sign that anyone was looking for me. It hit me at this point that no one was looking for me and no search party was coming.
I had been forgotten about.
This for me was one, of if not the scariest time throughout the whole event because at that point things felt hopeless. I was losing my voice after yelling for so long and it really hit me that I might die out there.
I knew that if I was going to live I was going to have to find help because help was not coming.
There was a train track below me and a road people would drive on to go fishing right behind that, so my plan was to try and reach that. Maybe a train would see me. So I began crawling all through the next afternoon and through the next night. Yes, two entire nights of wind and cold with a broken back. I was bleeding in multiple places and was slowly getting weaker and weaker. I was in a lot of pain but I wasn’t ready to die, so I kept moving.
I would pass out from exhaustion and pain and then wake up and continue crawling. I would think about my family and knew that if I died they would never understand what happened. I had to keep going.
So I fell on Monday evening and on Wednesday morning I was not sure I could go on much longer. I could feel myself dying and I knew I wasn’t going to make it much further. I hadn’t had food or water for two days and I was more thirsty than I had ever been.
I remember having dreams about my brother bringing me water. I kept passing out but Wednesday morning I heard the sound of a lawn mower.
I looked up and saw someone mowing the vineyard I was in. I knew I had to get his attention. I then did my best to yell but I had no voice left. my next thought was to try and throw rocks at him but I had hardly any strength in my arms and the rocks were not even getting close to reaching him. I knew he was my only chance at survival so even though I could feel myself passing out again I couldn’t afford to do so. So I forced myself to stay awake.
After watching him mow the entire segment of the vineyard, he came and started mowing right by me. He eventually noticed me laying there. He was understandably shocked by the sight of me laying there half naked and bleeding everywhere.
I was half naked because as I pulled myself down the hillside my clothing had come off so he kept asking me where my clothes were. This frustrated me at the time because I knew I didn’t have much time left and needed him to get me help right away. I didn’t have the energy to tell him where my clothes were. Soon after he went away on his mower. I found out later to call for help. At the time I thought that he hadn’t understood me and was leaving me. This was extremely hard for me to see him go; I thought I would be left alone again. I had finally found someone and he was leaving me.
But he did come back soon and with water. He told me that help was on the way. I still didn’t feel comfortable falling asleep. I wanted to make sure I was getting help so I waited and even though it felt like forever it wasn’t long later that the ambulance came.
After seeing the ambulance I knew I was finally safe and I honestly don’t remember much after that until I was in the Hospital.
After many surgeries the doctors told me I would never walk again. This was devastating to hear. I had always been a dreamer and now it was an impossible task to think about even the next day. It changed everything about my life. A lot of people no longer knew how to interact with me. And for a long time I was just living on a day by day basis.
A couple of months ago someone nominated me for Wishing Star and soon afterwards I was accepted. This was very unexpected and exiting for me. I was asked what my wish would be and after giving it a lot of thought I decided that I would love to meet Elon Musk.
I have always been fascinated by him and found him to be a inspiration but especially since my injury. He is someone who pursues things others say can’t be done and doesn’t give up when things get difficult. These are attributes I strive to have. And I think It would be amazing to meet him.
I haven’t given up hope that I will walk again. And I work very hard to reach my goal of doing so.
I am extremely thankful for this opportunity not only to have the chance to meet Elon Musk but for being given the chance to dream again which is better than anything I could of wished for.