US & Canada

Newlywed wife rescues husband after volcano fall

the couple in hospital Image copyright GoFundMe

A newlywed man is recovering in a US hospital after he fell into a dormant volcano during his honeymoon and had to be rescued by his wife.

Clay Chastain fractured his skull while hiking on the Caribbean island of St Kitts. His wife, Acaimie, climbed down to reach him and helped drag him out.

He leaned against her, vomiting and in pain, as they hiked for two miles (3.2km) to the mountain's base.

"She's absolutely incredible," said Mr Chastain after he was flown to Florida.

"Her being able to carry me all the way down a volcano when I can barely stand up is amazing and it's definitely nothing short of a miracle," he told the CBS TV network.

The fall happened on 18 July, only days after their wedding in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where they are from.

After hiking to the top of Mt Liamuiga, Mr Chastain said he wanted to climb down into the volcano for a better view of the lush greenery.

Image copyright GoFundMe
Image caption The couple was married only days before the accident

"It's almost straight down... I have a fear of heights," said Mrs Chastain, explaining her decision to wait at the top.

"I heard a really loud snap and then what sounded like a huge boulder rolling down the hill."

Image copyright GoFundMe
Image caption Mrs Chastain estimates her husband fell around 50 feet

After hearing him cry out for help, she hurried down and first found his phone and bandana before seeing him lying on the ground with blood pouring from his head.

After realising that there were no other hikers to help, and discovering that they had no mobile phone service, they decided to hike all the way back to the base by themselves - a journey that took three hours.

"He was leaning on me a lot and he was just gasping more and more and he just kept asking me 'how much farther?'," said Mrs Chastain, who is 5ft 2in ( 157cm) and weighs 105lb (47kg).

A fundraiser appeal raised more than $30,000 (£24,000), allowing Mr Chastain to charter a medical flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Doctors say he is leaking cerebral spinal fluid through his nose, but did not break any bones other than a skull fracture and a cracked vertebrae.

"It was a miracle that he was able to support himself for as long as he did with the injuries he had," Mrs Chastain told the Indianapolis Star newspaper.

On Facebook, Mr Chastain wrote: "It's honestly amazing thanks to God's help that my injuries were not worse."

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Media captionHow to speak volcano like a pro

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