'I was freaking out': Newlywed falls into a volcano while on honeymoon
Clay Chastain is lucky to be alive.
The Indianapolis man miraculously survived what could have been a perilous fall into the mouth of a volcano on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean, where he and his new bride, Acaimie, were only four days into their honeymoon. The couple was looking forward to exploring Mount Liamuiga and hiked two miles up before Clay decided he wanted to explore the inside of the volcano. Acaimie stayed back.
“One second I’m climbing, the next second the world is spinning, and I can hear her calling down to me,” Clay told the Indianapolis Star.
Acaimie continued screaming for her husband, but wasn't hearing a response. Fearing the worst, she followed Clay's path.
"I was freaking out about what I was going to find at the bottom," she said
Clay was seriously hurt but conscious when she found him. Because there was no one else around and neither of them had phone service, Acaimie knew they needed to get back to the base of the volcano.
"We're going to have to be strong," she told him. "We're going to have to climb out of here."
Clay was able to make the two-mile journey back down with Acaimie's help. When Acaimie finally had a strong enough cell signal to call 911, ambulances took Clay to a local hospital where he was told he had a severe concussion, a cracked vertebrae, a skull fracture, and a loss of hearing in his right ear. Air had also entered his brain tissue, which made the couple's plans to fly home in a few days impossible.
As Clay has been recovering, the couple had a GoFundMe set up to pay for the medical expenses and new flights back to the U.S. They've raised over $35,000.
"We're just overwhelmed," Acaimie said. "It's never something that you think would ever happen to you. You read stories about crazy situations that happen to people and say, 'That would never happen to me.' Now that it has. It's crazy to be the recipient of such love and support."