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Calgary man lands in B.C. hospital after falling from two-storey balcony at Airbnb

Lawrence Pickrem thought he’d be celebrating a weekend away with friends in Vernon, B.C., but two hours into the trip on Friday it changed dramatically.

Pickrem, originally from Nova Scotia, and his friend were enjoying a beer on the balcony of their Airbnb rental.

They leaned on the railing when it gave way and they fell two storeys.

Pickrem broke his friend's fall, but he ruptured his spleen and broke his pelvis.

“It was quite a drop to the ground and it was on cement,” Pickrem said from his hospital room in Vernon. “All I remember was once the wind was knocked out of me, I remember looking over and seeing my buddy Barrett’s head bleeding.”

Pickrem said he wants to warn others to always check their surroundings when attending a rental property.

“We had no inclination to know that the railings wouldn’t have been secure and as far as I’m concerned, not up to code,” he said. “Be more cautious, kind of look around and don’t just trust that everything is how its supposed to be, because often times, as I learned the hard way, it’s not.”

Pickrem moved to Calgary several months ago from Halifax, seeking work.

His sister Brittany, who lives in Halifax, has set up a crowdfunding campaign to help her brother financially.

It’s raised more than $3,200 of its $5,000 goal.

Doctors have told Pickrem it could be six months before he begins walking again.

“I asked him on a scale of one to 10, where’s your comfort level, and he said he’s about a four with the pain,” Brittany said. “But I can tell now its more emotional than anything else. He’s so far away from his family.”

Airbnb said in a statement that “the safety of our community is of the utmost importance to us.”

“We are looking into this incident and have reached out to the guest and host to offer additional support,” an Airbnb spokesperson said.

The company says Pickrem and his friends received a refund for their visit.

Pickrem says he would like to return to Halifax but believes he’ll be in Calgary for several months to recover.

His injuries are so severe, doctors say he will have to be specially transported by air back to Calgary from Vernon. Top Stories

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