Newlywed husband describes emotionally the bravery of his wife who rescued him after Volcano Fall
A newlywed husband who fell into a dormant volcano while on his honeymoon on a Caribbean island has praised his wife for his 'miraculous' rescue after she carried him more than three miles to help.
Clayton, 23, and Acaimie Chastain, 25, were hiking Mount Liamuiga on St. Kitts on July 18, the fourth day of their week-long honeymoon, when the terrifying ordeal happened.
Clayton Chastain climbed into the crater for a better view of the greenery inside while his wife stayed behind.
'One second I'm climbing, the next second the world is spinning, and I can hear her calling down to me,' he told IndyStar.
He said the rope he was holding onto while climbing probably snapped, dropping him around 50 to 70 feet.
His wife heard faint calls for help so she followed him down into the crater.
'I was screaming really, really loudly to make sure he was still responding,' she told the Sunsentinental.
When she found him, he had his head in his hands and was bleeding and vomiting.
He didn't know we were on St. Kitts. He didn't know we were on our honeymoon. He had no idea what was going on,' she said.
'I was completely freaked out because I knew we were entirely alone,' she told CTV News.
With no signal on her phone, the 5-foot-2, 105-pound woman had to help her concussed husband to safety herself.
'I looked at him and said "we're going to have to climb out of here". So I had him holding onto the rope and I was telling him where exactly to put his feet and I pushed from his butt to get back out of the crater.'
She supported and coaxed him for miles down the mountain as he struggled to remain conscious, stumbled and made regular stops to vomit.
'He was able to still lean on me and make his descent down because if he hadn't I'm not strong enough to physically carry a 165-pound man through that rugged terrain that far,' she told CTV News.
It took several hours to get far enough down the mountainside to get a cellphone signal and call 911.
Paramedics arrived when the pair had nearly finished their descent.
Clayton Chastain suffered a severe concussion, cracked vertebrae, a fracture in his skull and loss of hearing in his right ear.
The couple couldn't fly commercial, as air reportedly entered his brain tissue, but their family raised nearly $36,000 through a GoFundMe page to transport him to Broward Health Medical Center in Florida by air ambulance on Wednesday.
'It's astounding, honestly,' he told the SunSentinel from his hospital bed.
'Not only did she keep me going down the mountain when I couldn't even walk... I had to lean on her most of the way down and she was able to keep going and support me [and] that was nothing short of a miracle.'
In a Facebook message, he said: 'It's honestly amazing thanks to God's help that my injuries were not worse I'm feeling fine now though.'
'My wife Acaimie is extremely strong and managed to help me back up out of the volcano crater and down the trail up it's side until we got signal which was about 2 miles while I was collapsing and vomiting blood the entire way (which apparently was just coming from lacerations in my mouth and nose).'
He was expected to spend more time in hospital before returning home to Indianapolis, because he needed a drain of his skull as cerebral spinal fluid was leaking into his nose and throat, according to CTV.
Doctors gave him a good prognosis.
'It was just a miracle that he wasn't injured worse than he was,' his wife told IndyStar. 'It was incredible to me that he didn't have any broken bones.'
'We're just overwhelmed,' she added.
'It's never something that you think would ever happen to you. You read stories about crazy situations that happen to people and say, "That would never happen to me." Now that it has. It's crazy to be the recipient of such love and support.'