A newlywed Indiana man miraculously survived a perilous fall down into a dormant volcano earlier this month while on his honeymoon.
Four days into their honeymoon on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean, on July 18, Clay and Acaimie Chastain decided to hike up the dormant volcano Mount Liamuiga, the Indianapolis Star reported.
However, Clay eventually decided to venture into the volcano for a better view, while Acaimie opted to stay behind.
“One second I’m climbing, the next second the world is spinning, and I can hear her calling down to me,” Clay told the Indianapolis Star, saying that his memories of the fall — which cracked his vertebrae and gave him a severe concussion — are a blur.
New bride Acaimie had no choice but to follow Clay into the volcano after he fell, and told the Indianapolis Star that she “was freaking out about what I was going to find at the bottom.”
Luckily, Clay was alive and able to rally the strength to climb out and walk back down the mountain with his wife’s help. Once they regained cell service, Acaimie called 911 and paramedics met them near the bottom.
Clay was taken to a local hospital, but his injuries, including air entering his brain tissue, prevented him from being able to be flown back to the U.S. until now.
“It was a miracle that he was able to support himself for as long as he did with the injuries he had,” Acaimie said. Clay also fractured his skull and lost hearing in his right ear, according to the Indianapolis Star.
A GoFundMe campaign for the couple’s medical expenses and transport back to the U.S. has raised more than $35,000.
“Well everyone. I am so blessed and excited to announce that we have met and even exceeded our goal! I’ve truly been blown away by the amount of support that you all have shown both in your gifts and in your thoughts and prayers,” the campaign’s organizer said in an update Tuesday, adding that Clay was scheduled to be taken to a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Wednesday afternoon.
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