Two Years Into The Pandemic, She Quit Her Job As A Physician Assistant. Her First Vacation From It All Has Left Her With A Brain Injury. –


Beth Nethercote Callahan was in Puerto Rico when she reportedly fell from a cliff and hit her head on the way down.

Screen Shot 2022 02 17 at 12.17.23 PM copy 620e83527c71e
Beth Nethercote Callahan and her husband, Daniel. GoFundMe

Beth Nethercote Callahan pushed through the past two years of the pandemic, taking care of COVID-19 patients as a physician assistant in the ICU at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center.

But after a decade in her position, and the intensity of the past couple of years, she decided it was time for a change, according to The Boston Globe.

So Callahan, 42, quit in late January. Shortly afterward, she, her husband, and their young twins set off for Puerto Rico for a break from it all.

But what was supposed to provide a much-needed escape would end tragically for the family. While at the El Yunque National Rainforest, Callahan slipped from a 50-foot cliff into a pool of water below. She hit her head on the way down and was rendered unconscious, the newspaper reported.

“She was being encouraged to try and do this fun thing that she never would normally do, and she ended up trying to back out and slipped and hit her head on the way down,” Sarah Nethercote Hart, Callahan’s sister, told Boston 25 News.

Another health care worker happened to be nearby when he heard of Callahan’s accident. Kris Knopp, 42, an emergency room doctor, rushed to help. He worked with others to help stabilize Callahan until emergency responders could make it to the remote location.

Now, Callahan is about to travel from Puerto Rico back to the States; an ICU bed awaits her at Beth Israel Hospital, according to the news station.

Callahan’s twins have since returned home to Arlington, but Callahan’s husband, Daniel, was still in San Juan with her, the news station reported.

The recovery process is set to begin, but what that entails is unknown. She’s currently in a medically induced coma and is intubated, Boston 25 reported.

“We don’t know what her prognosis is,” Nethercote Hart told the news station. “It’s a very big question mark. It could be anything from, you know, she‘ll be playing with her kids in her backyard in a few months, to long-term rehabilitation for the rest of her life. We just have no idea at this point.”

A GoFundMe has been set up by Nethercote Hart to help the Callahan family. As of around 12:15 p.m. Thursday, it had raised almost $92,000 with a stated goal of $100,000.

Newsletter Signup

Stay up to date on all the latest news from

Related Posts