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Woman Gets Sick on Hike. She Was Dead 9 Hours Later

Mom says Susanna DeForest, 20, died of acute altitude sickness
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2017 6:49 PM CDT

(Newser) – A 20-year-old woman with no known previous medical issues died during a hike with friends after apparently suffering acute altitude sickness. The Times Herald reports Susanna DeForest of Pennsylvania was hiking with three friends in Colorado. They left Thursday afternoon on a hike to Conundrum Hot Springs in the Rocky Mountains, where they would spend the night. The hike has 2,500 feet of elevation change, and the hot springs are at an elevation of 11,200 feet, according to the Post Independent.

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During the hike, DeForest felt nauseated and started vomiting. Two of her friends hiked out to get help, reaching emergency dispatchers by 10:45pm. A helicopter was sent to retrieve DeForest but was unable to land for reasons that remain unclear. A second helicopter returned around 5am Friday, but DeForest was already dead. In a Facebook post, Kate DeForest says her daughter died from acute altitude sickness. "Her friends who were with her did all they could to get help to her in time," Kate DeForest says. (Read more altitude sickness stories.)

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