A couple’s honeymoon went downhill fast when the groom went “tumbling” into a volcano.
Clay and Acaimie Chastain, a newlywed couple and both recent graduates of Purdue University, went to St. Kitts, a Caribbean Island, for their honeymoon recently. On Thursday, the newlyweds decided to hike up Mt. Liamuiga, a dormant volcano, when the ropes Clay was supported by snapped and sent him hurtling through a volcanic crater.
“We had already reached the top and since it was a dormant volcano the crater of it was a lush prairie,” Clay wrote in a Facebook post. “There was a rope trail leading down to it and I trusted the ropes with my weight too much and one of them snapped. Acaimie guessed in total with free fall and tumbling down the hill, which was extremely steep at about 60-70 degrees, I fell for about 50-70 feet.”
According to the post, the bride, Acaimie, is “extremely strong” and helped Clay “back up out of the volcano crater.”
Clay recounts to Yahoo Lifestyle that she pushed him and led him back out of the crater since he had “no control” over his “balance or direction.”
“We eventually made it to the top and no one else was on the trail and we didn't have any cell reception being that high up, so she had to practically carry me two miles down the side of the volcano with me stopping several times to vomit up more blood,” he says. “I had no recollection of where we were or what we were doing at the time but I knew who I was, at least.”
While Clay has serious injuries, he is stable and searching for ways to return to the U.S. safely, without exacerbating the physical damage.
“The paramedics then put me in an ambulance and rushed me to the hospital, where they diagnosed me with only a fractured skull and a fractured vertebrate. But the vertebral fracture, they later said, was not true and just due to an abnormality in the scan,” he describes. “The skull fracture caused air to enter my brain which is why we can't fly commercially, due to air pressure.”
His wife also sustained injuries from helping him out of danger and is “covered with bruises along her legs,” he says, adding that “one of her big toenails is about to fall off from pushing against the front of her shoe so much on the way down.”
Clay notes in his Facebook post that they’re trying to arrange transport through “low flying emergency aircraft to avoid high pressure,” and Acaimie tells Yahoo Lifestyle that they hope to fly out to Florida on Wednesday.
Acaimie also posted on Facebook, and pleaded to her husband to keep from falling into more volcanoes in the future.
“Please don’t make me pull you out of another volcano, Clayton,” she wrote. “I am one and done with that!”
The bride’s sister launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to assist with transport and medical costs, which reached its goal of $30,000.
St. Kitts Police Department did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
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