Noah Messenger

Noah with his grandparents Ray and Alice DeHart
Noah with his grandparents Ray and Alice DeHart

Hi my name is Noah Messenger and I am 18 years old. I have lived in Goldendale Washington for most of my life with my mom and dad, I am the second oldest of 10 siblings. I grew up with 3 sets of grandparents in Goldendale including my DeHart, Messenger and Great Messenger grandparents.  Family has always been a huge part of my life with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles to spend birthday’s and holiday’s with. My dad works at Azure Standard and my mom homeschools my siblings. I grew up in an extremely active family doing things like mountain climbing, exploring caves, kayaking, boating, snowboarding, water sports, running, camping, riding horses, riding motorbikes, hunting, fishing, knife throwing, archery, hiking and always wrestling with my brothers. Our family was never afraid of hard work or big projects so we always found ourselves busy building things, gardening, fixing fences, chopping and stacking firewood etc. I have always loved the outdoors, hiking and exploring are one of my favorite things to do so when I got a job working for Maryhill Winery I was happy in my element.  I was in charge of organizing crews to make the concerts go well, helped maintain the grounds and also worked in the wine cellar. I was also given the opportunity to rent a room in a house in The Dalles, owned by the winery, that would be shared with fellow employees who also worked for the winery.

Messegner Kids

On May 15th, the day after Mother’s Day, I got off work at Maryhill Winery and as I was waiting for my carpool I debated on taking a nap in the orchard or exploring the beautiful spring scenery of the gorge.  I decided to go explore a certain orchard so I let my carpool know where I would be and as I was appreciating the view of the beautiful Columbia River, I slipped and fell down an estimated 60-foot cliff.  I can actually remember everything and as I fell I knew it was going to be bad.  Upon landing my T12 burst, shattering pieces of bone into my spinal cord, leaving me paralyzed from the waist down.  I didn’t know right away that I was paralyzed because in the beginning I could still feel my legs.  I waited for help to come, I called and yelled knowing that my carpool would come looking for me soon.  Unfortunately, no one came and soon it began to get dark and very cold.  As the cold settled in I remember my legs growing numb and thinking that it was because of the cold.  I was so cold all night long as I waited, certain that a search party would come looking for me, but none came.  The next morning again, I waited and hoped, thinking that when I did not show up for work suspicions would be raised and someone would come.

When I realized that no one was going to be coming I knew that my only hope of survival would be to crawl down the rest of the cliffs and hopefully a train would see me.  I spent two nights in the cold and rain with no food or water crawling with a broken back. More than once I would pass out, only to be awoken by the train, knowing I had to keep crawling. 36 hours later I was miraculously found by a gardener who was mowing a vineyard.  I can remember everything up until the point of the first responders showing up.  I was so glad to be found alive.  So many times in that 36 hours I wondered if I would survive, knowing that if I didn’t my family would never understand what happened to me and how devastated they would be.  I never gave up because I love my family and I love life.

When I was found I had hyperthermia and was in kidney failure. My body was shutting down and I would not have had lived much longer.  I was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where we were told by a medical staff member that it was “supernatural” that I was alive after what I had gone through.  After being life-flighted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and spending a week in the ICU, having 3 major surgeries, being declared a complete paraplegic and then spending a month in rehabilitation, I was sent home in a wheel chair to learn a new way of life.  What I am learning is it is very hard and there are many places I can’t go and many things I can no longer do. Pain is now an everyday, unavoidable part of my life.  Things that were once simple tasks are now major challenges. It’ an emotional journey as well as a physical journey.  My parents and siblings are working hard to get our house ready to sell because it is very small and even with wheelchair accessibility there isn’t room for me to comfortably be a part of family life, so I am very thankful to be able to live nearby at my grandparent’s home which is larger and wheelchair friendly and plus my Papa and Grandma are two of my favorite people in the world.


Being a paraplegic is expensive.  With wheelchair ramps, medical supplies, physical therapy appointments, doctor appointments, house alterations and pain management being our initial focus, we are realizing now that a wheel chair friendly vehicle would be a huge blessing and step towards regaining independence because I cannot transfer myself into most vehicles and can no longer drive normal cars which means I have to depend on other people to take me anywhere.


This has been such an abrupt and severe change that I am still going day by day and trying not to look to far into the future.   I still have not given up hope of walking again someday and am trying to do everything I can now to stay healthy and help my body heal. I am so happy to be alive and it’s been so amazing to see and hear about all the support. Thank you to everyone who prays for my family and for me.  We know God has a plan and we know his plans are best so we continue to trust him.

Our family is humbled to have been selected to be a part of the 2017 Pig Bowl and we thank you for supporting us with your love and prayers.

Please visit the “Where are they now” section of our website to see updates on Noah Messenger or click HERE to go there now.