Hunter survives long fall from tree stand - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hunter survives long fall from tree stand

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An Iowa man is recovering after falling at least 20 ft. from a tree stand while hunting. 

Jeff Pavek of Palo broke his neck, back, fractured his skull and sternum and suffered from a collapsed lung from the fall. 

He says it's amazing he is not paralyzed or dead. 

  "That strap let go around the tree, it was a cable, and I must have went backwards I don't remember any of that though," Pavek told us from his hospital room at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic. 

Pavek's girlfriend Lori Vandooren-Long started to worry when he didn't come home so she called his best friend Ron. 

The two went out to the hunting site where they made the terrifying discovery. 

"He probably laid there for like an hour and 45 minutes and we found him face down," says Vandooren-Long. 

"I told him to turn me over, thank God he didn't I would have been parialyzed," says Pavek. 

He tells us several of his vertebrates were crushed.

I really realize how close death was and it's very sad because you just never know," says Pavek. 

"We needed him around for awhile longer," Vandooren-Long says. 

Pavek hopes sharing his story will help other hunters be safe. 

"I really strongly recommended when you're in a tree please wear a vest, a vest for safety. It could have prevented a lot of this," he tells us. 

Pavek believes he is lucky to be alive.

"Real close to being paralyzed or death, so I had both of them and I'm gonna beat them both," he says. 

A Go Fund Me account has been created to help with medical expenses.    

Pavek is the third person in Iowa to fall from a tree stand in the last two weeks. . 

A man from Dubuque fell on November 4th while hunting near Garber. 

The next day a man from Adair was found lying at the base of his tree stand. 

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