A GRANDMOTHER is lucky to be alive after plunging 50ft down a rockface while videoing a beauty spot for her daughter.
Jean Cran’s husband admits she should “probably be dead” but the 67-year-old escaped with a hairline skull fracture, broken wrist and bruising.
The gran-of-five bounced off rocks and landed on her back after slipping at Bracklinn Falls near Callander, Stirlingshire, on Sunday.
Jean’s fall sparked an emergency which involved around 80 people and a helicopter. Early on during the three-hour rescue, a mystery hero climbed down the rocks to provide immediate first aid to Jean.
Speaking today Jean described how she thought to herself “I will not make it.”
She said: “I was thinking I’m not going to get out of this. I thought this was it. I just felt the rocks I hit while going down. I thought if I went in to the water I will not make it.
“I do think the story is about how the emergency services worked so well together as a team and the chap from Arran who stayed by my side for three hours through the wind and cold keeping me awake.
“I was actually about four inches from where I landed and if a was any closer I would have been in the water.”
She added: “I landed awkwardly from the fall and he told me not to move and to keep away from the water. He was just first class.
“I have a guardian angel watching over me.”
Explaining the reason behind the video Jean said: “My daughter Carol recently had a hip replacement two weeks ago and I was supposed to be
looking after her but I was on holiday up in Oban.
“I thought I would take a video of the waterfall as she loves them to cheer her up.”
Jean and husband John have four children – George Cran, 35, Helen Cran 32, Carol Magennis, 42, and Sharon Veelenturf, 46.
Jean, a former company director, and John, 62, from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, visited the beauty spot on the Kelty Water as they returned from a trip to Oban.
John said: “We went for a wee walk and Jean went to take a video of the beauty spot to show her daughter but slipped shortly after closing the camera.
“She fell about 30 or 40 feet and she landed on a rock and then she bounced and bounced and bounced over the rocks and finally landed on her back.
“She’s extremely lucky and she should probably be dead. I couldn’t get down to help her because of the position of the rocks. But, Martin, a tourist like us, was determined to get down to help her.
“He was given a hand by another man to get him down the rocks, which were extremely dangerous.”
He added: “I believe Martin kept her alive as he stayed with her for the three hours keeping her calm, which probably stopped a heart- attack. He probably stopped her from moving and causing further damage.
“He did a major service. I thought she was going to die and I thought that was the end.”
Jean’s daughter Carol also explained how “lucky” her Mum is.
She said: “I love waterfalls and I just had a hip replacement two weeks ago so I can’t get out and about, hence mum taking the video for me.
“So lucky she is alive.”
Bill Rose, Killin Mountain Rescue Secretary said: “ We arrived at the scene around 4 o’clock and the lady had just gotten to close and slipped in between the rocks.
“We suspected that the injury was to her lower spine so we brought her up vertically after putting on a vacuum splint to keep her mobilised and attaching her to the stretcher.”
Jean’s video, taken moments before the accident, shows how close she was to the edge of the rocks and the swirling waters below. Jean, according to her husband, stopped filming “nanoseconds” before falling.
Jean is recovering in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow.
Inspector Jo Jollie from Callendar Police Station said: “We can confirm that at around 3.30pm on Sunday 24th March, a joint agency operation was co-ordinated to assist the safe rescue of a 67 year old woman, who had fallen 50ft from top of Bracklin Falls.
“A number of members of the public also helped with this rescue.”