On Tuesday 22 May Claire was hiking in Joshua Tree National Park when she slipped off a high boulder and fell 15ft onto rocky ground, shattering her pelvis. She couldn’t move, not even to sit up or lie on her side. Her left ankle was dislocated.
She couldn’t get a signal on her phone. And nobody knew she was there. She was housesitting for absent friends so, although she’d mentioned to them she was going on the hike, there was nobody to notice her not returning home. All she could do was lie where she had fallen, scream for help, and try to protect herself as best she could from the desert heat. By Wednesday afternoon she ran out of water so had to drink urine. She fashioned a curtain from a stick and a plastic bag and held it between her face and the scorching sun for hours on end.
On Friday 25 May - four days and three nights of being splayed, broken, on the desert floor - Claire’s travelling friend sensed something was up. They called neighbours to check in on her, and eventually her car was located at the trailhead. A few hours later Claire was rescued by helicopter search crew and taken to Desert Regional Medical Centre.
The hospital staff have done all they can to minimise her pain. Claire says she is blown away by the level of care she is receiving, and praises the doctors and nurses for their amazing care. Of course, the costs do mount up and although Claire has US medical travel insurance, it is limited. Two helicopters, round-the-clock meds and opioids, multiple x-rays and CT scans, surgery by a pelvic specialist and ongoing physical therapy... there are going to be big bills.
We’d be so grateful for any contributions to these medical costs, no matter how small. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Ps: To those asking why this GoFundMe was set up earlier than the date of the accident (and it’s a good question): Claire was previously crowdfunding via friends and family to buy a used car. When she had the accident those same friends and family offered to put that money towards the medical expenses. From there it was shared with the public. (Claire will not be driving for quite some time!)
Funds: as Claire does not have a Canadian bank account, for the purposes of banking, the beneficiary of the funds is Caroline Nitsch, Claire’s close friend and bedside companion who helped set up this campaign. She will be transferring the funds to Claire for medical costs.Read the Story