Amber's Medical Expenses
My name is Amber and you may have heard of my recent escapade into the desert that almost ended in disaster. If not, here are the first two articles that surfaced about it:
As of right now, the story will air tomorrow on ABC Good Morning. Here is the story as I conveyed it on Facebook as an explanation to my friends and family.
"Hey guys. Since everyone keeps asking, I'll post the explanation here.
I was on my way from the southern rim of the Grand canyon. I put Havasu Falls Trail Head into Google maps. I had 70 miles to empty not including reserves. I go down the highway leading from the rim and it says turn right before I thought it was the right road. I decided to trust Google and turn onto this ratchet dirt road. Google said I'd only be on it 40 miles before the next highway where I figured I could get gas well before the danger zone. Anywho. 35 miles in, it says to turn on a road that doesn't exist. I figured it may have washed a bit of the road away since they were primitive dirt roads. So. I turned anyway and figured I'd see the road momentarily. It was getting dark. I came up to a fence with no roads in sight. Panicked since gps stopped working, too. So I Panicked and tried to find the road again. Finally found it but was at 0 to empty. Parked by the first man made structure I found and decided to wait til daylight. Turns out my reserve was exhausted, too.
So I spent five days constructing various signs to help someone find me. Including an SOS sign out of rocks about four feet by ten feet. That wasn't working so I made a "HELP" sign on the third day that I got to about 20-30 feet tall for the letters. I also tried a signal fire but since everything was so dry, it burned too clean. I also made a road barricade after a truck driver drove past me without noticing. I had a flashing headlamp that I turned on every night. I rationed my food and water and when they found me I still had 16-18 days left. However, I got tired of waiting to be rescued.
I had no signal and no gps. So I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and hiked a total of 21-22 miles. I had to hike 11 miles east from my car just to get signal to call 911. Even then, the call dropped after 49 seconds and I had to pray they got enough info to find me. The helicopter found me about two hills away from my car on my hike back. Idk if it was a mile. Maybe less.
So they put me on the care flight and hooked me up to fluids and oxygen. On the bright side, I guess I got to cross riding in a helicopter off of my bucket list. Now I'm at a hotel in Flagstaff awaiting family and an escort. So yeah. Trauma and stuff."
I am currently fund raising for the projected costs of my hospital visit as well as damage to my vehicle (a result of my ill-advised panic-driven shenanigans that first night.)
UPDATE: My father says that the estimation he received from insurance was 3300. I have updated the goal to reflect that.
I know I am asking a lot and I am sorry. I am doing my best to get by for myself but I hadn't planned for something like this. If you don't agree with crowdfunding, feel free to move on. If you think I am stupid (which I definitely made a stupid mistake) or a liar then visit the Lowell Observatory website or the National Parks website and donate to them and channel that toxicity into something positive. If you can't donate, don't worry. If you want, you can just share this campaign. Anything and everything is appreciated.
UPDATE: I posted this originally on my Facebook but I'll put it here as well:
Just for those of you who need to know it:
Stranded with no way out =/= camping regardless of how well I prepared with my supplies.
I was able to keep my phone charged via the cigarette lighter. In my car it charges even if the car is off.
I had a compass and I am fantastic at reading maps but I made the mistake of not bringing a map this time. I had my compass.
Almost everyone has run out of gas at some point, mine just happened to be supremely inconvenient.
It was not a matter of simply turning around since I wasn't aware how to get out and I was legitimately lost.
My parents had been wrongly reassured that I had deviated completely from the itinerary I had posted. There was no search for this reason.
So, yes, I made silly mistakes. However, I also maintained composure when I found myself in an unfortunate situation. Don't bother sending negative messages. I guarantee that by now I've already read it or something similar.
I understand the skeptical view. I've encountered it a lot in the past two weeks. So let me answer these questions as best I can.
1) I had called and they said I could either pick up a cancellation or show up and see if I could go in with someone who had a reservation. I regrettably hadn't done much research on the route to the trailhead but I've learned from that mistake. I know it's a dumb one to make.
2) Originally I was further from it but when I tried to back up to the road again it moved maybe ten feet before deciding it had no more juice to go, much to my chagrin. Trust me, I tried pushing it out into the road but even trying to rock it back and forth, I couldn't get the momentum to get it moving. I am one small woman trying to push an SUV.
3) I was cheap because I'm a college kid. I know it's stupid but I had honestly though I could fill up in the highway that leads up to havasupai because I had wrongfully assumed there would be gas stations along the way.
4) Not even slightly. I was the mediator between my parents so I was their fount of advice and was constantly receiving attention from them so I wanted to get away from it. As far as the boyfriend, I think the segment blew that out of proportion. We are still friends and I think he's a great guy but not great for me. I don't want to date him nor do I want ill-gotten attention from him.
5) ABC had a policy of no compensation so no, I was not compensated at all. I did this because they told me I could maybe help other people that find themselves in the situation otherwise I would have just said no. Sadly I'm a sucker for helping people, regardless of how much negativity I have received. I just don't want people to make my mistakes and the things I did right I hope I can communicate well enough that another person in the future may be better prepared.
6) I have a screenshot of the short cut Google offered me and if I can post it from my phone right now then I will attach it to this update. Originally I ignored the offer of the small gravel road because I had thought I'd have to go back to the highway to go around (obviously my gut was right) but the gps kept telling me to turn around so I acquiesced.
Thank you for being respectful. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them as long as you are polite. (I tried attaching the screenshot but it looks like I will have to post it once I get home unless you want to put it in your phone yourself. Use Google maps and put the destination as Havasu Falls Trail Head and the starting point as the Grand Canyon Southern Rim Visitor Center and unless they've changed it, which I doubt, it will show the small road route.)
Thank you all for your help and assistance. I appreciate each and every one of you.
National Parks Service: