Rescued Yosemite employee recovering from spinal surgery

10/12/2012 6:41 AM

10/12/2012 7:01 AM

Jessica Rose Garcia, the Yosemite employee rescued after missing for three days, underwent extensive surgery Thursday.

According to her family, the procedure took 12½ hours; it had been anticipated to take eight. Family members said surgery on Garcia’s spine went well, and will know more when she awakens.

Earlier, Garcia’s family said doctors believed she suffered broken vertebrae in a 35-foot fall as she hiked in the Wawona area of Yosemite National Park.

Garcia, who is from Ceres, had just moved to Wawona for a job in a hotel after spending the summer working in Yosemite Valley. Rescue teams started looking for her when she didn’t show up for her first day at work Sunday morning. She had last been seen Saturday after orientation.

Rescuers found Garcia at about 1 p.m. Tuesday. She was taken by helicopter to a nearby meadow, where an ambulance picked her up and took her to a hospital.

Family members have established a bank account to help pay for what they anticipate to be extensive medical expenses. Donations can be made to the account at any Bank of the West branch under Garcia’s name.

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