Family seeks community’s help as injured Bishop Peak hiker returns home from hospital

Evan Lalanne, 18, was severely injured after falling near the top of Bishop Peak on Dec. 29, 2016.
Evan Lalanne, 18, was severely injured after falling near the top of Bishop Peak on Dec. 29, 2016.

Evan Lalanne, the 18-year-old hiker who was severely injured last month when he fell from Bishop Peak, returned to the Central Coast this weekend, his aunt, Tiffany Snyder, said Sunday.

Lalanne, who suffered critical injuries to his neck and back after falling 25 to 30 feet, is paralyzed from the waist down. Lalanne’s family is looking for a temporary place to stay while their Arroyo Grande home is being retrofitted to accommodate Lalanne. It could take two to four weeks before the home is ready, Snyder said.

Snyder said they would like to keep Lalanne’s family together and are looking for a vacation rental-type home in the area that the family could stay in until work on their house is complete.

“If somebody has something that’s a good value, we’d appreciate it,” Snyder said. “We want as many funds as possible to go to Evan’s medical bills and future needs.”

Snyder added that the home doesn’t necessarily have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as long as it’s a one-story, “fairly flat” house.

She said Lalanne and the family have been touched by the outpouring of community support they have received. Companies and community members have donated materials and time to help, and Lalanne’s friends made him a welcome back poster. Even some of the helicopter pilots who helped rescue Lalanne from Bishop Peak have stopped by the house to volunteer their time.

“He’s just blown away by how wonderful the community has been,” Snyder said. “It’s very inspiring to see what a great place we live.”

Lalanne was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo immediately after his fall and was then flown to Stanford’s hospital for treatment. Lalanne was eventually transferred to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s rehabilitation center.

Lalanne, an Arroyo Grande High School graduate and Cal Poly student, has been in “very good spirits” since he got home Saturday, Snyder said, and the family has been touched by the warm welcome. Though he is still recovering, “he is very, very happy to be back on the Central Coast.”

Anyone with information on a place to stay can contact Tiffany Snyder at snyder.tiffany@gmail.com. According to Lalanne’s GoFundMe page, people can also contact Joan Henry at 4jhenry@gmail.com or 805-602-6451.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF