B.C. Airbnb balcony crash lands Calgary man in hospital

Lawrence Pickrem thought he was celebrating a weekend with friends in Vernon, British Columbia, but two hours into the trip on Friday that has changed dramatically.

Nova Scotia native Pickrem 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 stories.

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

“It was a hell of a fall to the ground and it was on cement,” Pickrem said from his hospital room in Vernon. “All I remember is once the wind cut me off, I remember looking up and seeing my buddy Barrett’s head bleeding.”

Pickrem said he wanted to warn others to always check their surroundings when frequenting a rental property.

“We had no desire to know that the guardrails would not have been secure and, as far as I was concerned, not up to code,” he said. “Be more careful, look around and don’t just believe everything is as it’s supposed to be because often, as I’ve learned the hard way, it’s not.”

Pickrem left Halifax for Calgary several months ago, looking for a job.

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

He has raised over $3,200 towards his $5,000 goal.

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

“I asked him on a scale of one to 10 what your comfort level was, and he said it was about a four with pain,” Brittany said. “But I can say now that it’s more emotional than anything. 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 reviewing this incident and have contacted the guest and host to offer further 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 will be in Calgary for several months recuperating.

His injuries are so severe that doctors say he will have to be specially airlifted to Calgary from Vernon.

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