Rescued Hiker Hallucinated Python Attack

Kyndall Jack recounts ordeal in canyon

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 9, 2013 5:56 PM CDT

(Newser) – So what's it like to be lost in a canyon for four days and dehydrated to the point of death? For rescued hiker Kyndall Jack, it meant trying to eat stones and dirt thinking they were food; sucking on twigs thinking they'd provide water the way straws do; and fending off an imaginary attack from a python, reports the Los Angeles Times. "I definitely gave up hope," says the 18-year-old. "There were definitely some times I didn't think I was going to make it."

Jack says she and her hiking partner, Nicolas Cendoya, left the trail on their way up a mountain in Cleveland National Forest and realized they were lost within hours as darkness set in. Cendoya, who was rescued a day before Jack, tells a similar tale of disorientation, but both are expected to make full recoveries and leave the hospital soon. Not so for a rescuer who suffered a serious head injury when he fell during the rescue of Jack. He remains in serious condition.

Kyndall Jack shows her injured hand outside UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif.
Kyndall Jack shows her injured hand outside UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif.   (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Joshua Sudock)
Kyndall Jack talks about her ordeal and thanks rescuers in a news conference on Monday.
Kyndall Jack talks about her ordeal and thanks rescuers in a news conference on Monday.   (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Joshua Sudock)
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