Polk County lineman injured in 85-foot fall in Puerto Rico returns home

By Stephanie Claytor, Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, February 04, 2018, 6:38 PM EST

A Polk county lineman who fell more than 85 feet while helping to restore power in Puerto Rico is home.

Cameron Alley had been in the hospital since Jan. 11, both in Puerto Rico and at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. He went home on Jan. 26.

“I’m extremely thankful I get to come home with my wife and my kids. Basically I get a new start,” Alley said.

His list of injuries range from broken ribs to fractured wrists, but the most damage was done to his hands. Doctors have told him he may never be able to use his left hand again.

“It’s hard. Of course, I tell myself I’m going to do better than that," Alley said. "That hopefully through the Lord Jesus Christ and therapy and working at it with my wife everyday, hopefully I’ll be able to have more use than that."

“It does scare that I wont be able to go back to my normal activities or my job if I can’t use my hands again."

Alley was suspended from a helicopter, working on electric poles in the mountains. Then the unthinkable happened. Some how he became disconnected from the cable attached to the helicopter.

“Just a split second before I hit the ground, I told myself, this is it,” said Alley.

He turned his GoPro on when he landed, surprised he was still alive.

“I just fell off of a tower. Holy crap I don’t know what happened,” he said in the GoPro video.

He still has to undergo several more surgeries and physical therapy. His wife is on medical leave in order to give him around the clock care.

“We’ve had a lot of learning curves thrown at us. People don’t realize, they look at it and think he just has two broken arms,” said Trista Alley. “That’s not it. He can’t push himself up off the couch. He can’t give himself something to drink.”

Throughout his recovery, Alley said he’s been doing some soul searching.

“Now it feels like I have to find what my life long purpose is after that because surely I was put here for a reason. God said this not your time to go,” Alley said.

One thing is for sure, his love for his dangerous job hasn’t faded just like the tattoo never will on his sleeve.

“It’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. If I could back at it today I would,” Alley said.

The couple said they've been sharing their story to remind people of the sacrifices linemen make every day and how they put their lives on the line so that we can have electricity.