Eric Brimlow heads home after 300-foot slide into the Crater Lake caldera in July

A 27-year-old man who fell into the Crater Lake caldera in July has headed home to New York after weeks of medical care at Rogue Valley Medical Center.

Eric Brimlow of Syracuse, N.Y., will continue his recovery with outpatient therapy in his home state, his family and doctors said in a statement released by the hospital Thursday.

Brimlow hopped from a rock wall barrier onto the snow-covered rim while walking with friends on the morning of July 11. He slipped and slid head-first roughly 300 feet into the caldera.

After a six-hour rescue by 49 park employees, including technical climbers, paramedics sent Brimlow by helicopter to RVMC, where doctors listed him in critical condition.

After several weeks in intensive care, Brimlow's condition improved dramatically and was upgraded to serious on Aug. 4, enabling him to move to a regular hospital room. On Aug. 11, doctors changed his status to fair condition and transferred him to the inpatient rehabilitation center.

Brimlow underwent intensive, daily therapy to regain mobility, balance and speech, doctors said.

"He has made great strides," Brimlow's rehabilitation physician, Dr. Jeffrey Solomon, said in the prepared statement. "And he still faces many challenges, but he is a strong young man with a great spirit." Frank Brimlow praised the minute-by-minute care his son got while in intensive care.

The Brimlow family also thanked all the hospital staff who provided care, the rescuers who initially pulled Eric Brimlow to safety and the community that offered hospitality and prayers.

Brimlow and his family returned to New York Wednesday.

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