A New Zealand woman who was rescued after spending four days with a shattered pelvis inside Joshua Tree National Park survived by creating shade with plastic bad and drinking her own urine.
Claire Nelson, 36, is recovering at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs after being found inside the park on Friday, May 25. According to a GoFundMe page for Nelson, she was housesitting near JoshuaTree National Park and decided to go hiking on Tuesday, May 22. During her hike, she feel from a boulder and fell 15 feet, shattering her pelvis.
A week today I was hiking confidently through the desert to find an oasis. Today I tried to shuffle 5ft to the bathroom with a walking frame and the assistance of a physical therapist and it was the most difficult trek of my life. I cried. I am literally learning to walk again. As an active and independent person I am really struggling with this sudden and shocking change, but I remind myself I am alive. That I must channel despondence into determination. If the last week has taught me anything it’s that I am capable of patience and perseverance – and that they do pay off. —- Thank you everyone for the overwhelming love and support. Every message and comment gives me strength.
She then spent four days and three nights surviving the brutal heat. Without a cell phone signal and unable to move, she used a stick and a plastic bag to create shade for her face. After running out of water on the first day, Nelson began drinking her own urine.
“It tasted like really bad flat beer,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It is not pleasant but it is not the worst thing.”
“I decided I just needed to stay alive long enough (to) be found,” Nelson wrote on Instagram. “I tried not to lose hope. Admittedly, that was challenging at times.”
Eventually, Nelson’s traveling friend reached out to neighbor’s and eventually her car was found at the trailhead. A few hours later she was found and taken by helicopter to Desert Regional.
A GoFundMe page has been created to assist with her medical costs.