A man surpassed all odds and managed to survive alone, without food or water, in the woods for days after he was in a car crash, which left him with serious injuries.
Jose Velasquez, 32, went missing in Houston, Texas on June 26, and was found 5 days later, lying next to his flipped and damaged car, “almost lifeless.” In an interview with ABC 13, Velasquez explained that he lived off the land, and even drank rainwater to keep himself going, but soon began to lose hope that he would be found.
"I honestly think that when you're put in a situation where your life is in jeopardy, your survival instincts kick in, because I'm not an outdoors person at all,” he told the Houston news channel. He added "I remember just leaning back and looking up at the sky and saying, 'If you're going to take me, take me now. I don't want to be here anymore.’”
After friends and family members were unable to locate Velasquez, they turned to Texas EquuSearch — a local, volunteer-based search and rescue group — for help. Rescuers were finally able to find him after they tracked his cell phone, and spotted a white car bumper lying in a remote area in the woods.
The group wrote in its original post on its website that Velasquez was wearing a “long sleeved, vertically [striped] navy blue & cream-colored shirt, blue jeans and black Nike baseball shoes,” and was in a “white, 2007 4-door, Honda Accord with Texas license plates.”
Though he was ultimately rescued, the 32-year-old sustained serious injuries.
According to a GoFundMe fundraiser organized to support payment of medical bills, Velasquez was admitted to Memorial Herman Hospital, where he spent 18 days, for multiple injuries.
“He had a broken femur, multiple broken ribs, a broken nose, fractured [vertebrae],” the fundraiser reads. “In addition, due to the amount of time he was out in the wooded area by himself he was severely dehydrated which caused him to go into organ failure and developed anemia.”
It is unclear what caused the car crash. Despite his injuries, Velasquez still “miraculously” managed to survive. According to the GoFundMe, doctors believe he will be “back to normal” in less than a year, but will require many follow-up appointments, as well as physical therapy sessions to “regain his ability to walk.”
Velasquez said in his interview with ABC 13 that though he doesn’t remember anything from the crash, he realized he was “hurt pretty badly” when he woke up and tried to pick himself up. However, he still remains optimistic, telling the news station that he hopes to be able to walk by January — which is when he plans to get married.
Jose Velasquez did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
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