'Bright and Gifted' Doctor Dies After Running Out of Water While Hiking in 'Extreme Heat'

·3 min read
Evan Dishion, MD
Evan Dishion, MD

Barrow Neurological Institute Dr. Evan Dishion

A doctor died in Arizona this week after getting lost and running out of water while hiking in Cave Creek.

Six people suffered "heat emergencies" on Monday while hiking in "extreme heat" near the Spur Cross Trailhead, according to a series of social media posts from the Scottsdale Fire Department.

SFD Captain Dave Folio said it was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit when they arrived on-scene, KTVK/KPHO reported. "When we got out on that trail, the temperature on the asphalt alone was reading 127 off of our truck. I think it was 109 outside," he told the outlet.

Prior to authorities arriving on the scene, "the hikers had run out of water" and "gotten lost on the trails," the fire department said on Facebook.

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The deceased victim has been identified by loved ones and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office as 32-year-old Dr. Evan Dishion, according to KTVK/KPHO and ABC affiliate KNXV-TV. (The Scottsdale Fire Department originally identified the victim as a man in his 20s.)

Folio told KNXV-TV that Dishion died from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Dishion was a first-year adult neurology resident at the Barrow Neurological Institute, according to the institute's website. He previously attended medical school at Creighton University School of Medicine and completed his undergraduate degree at Oregon State University.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Dr. Evan Dishion. Dr. Dishion was a bright and gifted physician who had recently begun his first year as a neurology resident at Barrow Neurological Institute," the institute wrote in a statement, according to KTVK/KPHO and KNXV-TV.

He was a kind and generous person who made it his mission and passion to improve the lives of others," the statement continued. "We extend our deepest sympathy and prayers to Dr. Dishion's family, friends and colleagues during this time of mourning."

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His wife, Amy Dishion, told KNXV-TV that her late husband "just wanted to help people" in life. The couple had recently become first-time parents.

"Since Chloe came, he hasn't had as much time with his friends between residency," Amy told the outlet. "I feel like normally I would have pushed back a little harder about the heat."

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help support the family in wake of the sudden tragedy. As of publication, more than $14,000 has been raised through the fundraiser.

Evan Dishion, MD
Evan Dishion, MD


An Excessive Heat Warning remains in place for Avondale-Cave Creek and the surrounding areas through Wednesday evening at 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

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Meteorologists predict afternoon temperatures can reach 105 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit across portions of south central Arizona, per the bulletin. Overexposure to the "dangerously hot conditions" can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion and, ultimately, heat stroke.

Though high temperatures are common in Arizona, the NWS said warned of "very hot temperatures, even by local standards."

The SFD also warned of the possible negative impacts heat can have on the human body in a Facebook post.

"Being in the heat can quickly lead to deadly consequences," the department wrote on Tuesday. "If you begin to experience or observe signs of heat exhaustion, take action immediately."

The department also advised that it is important to "plan your hike, hike the plan [and] bring plenty of water."