NOTE: This is part 4 of my mountaintop rescue story. Read part 1Read part 2. Read  part 3.

It was about 8 pm when the first Search and Rescue worker reached us. We had first called for help around 4:00. The sun was heading quickly toward the mountains in the west, and the temperature was starting to cool.

I watched him approach us from a distance and when I finally could make out his face, I could hardly believe it. “David Lynton?” I asked. He told me yes, obviously confused. “Dan Pearce, I used to live across the street from you.” He hadn’t seen me since I was a teenager and he quickly made the connection.

The man used to be one of my Boy Scout leaders some twenty years ago. He was a tenth degree black belt or something like that. Something about him being there put me at great ease. I stood up and attempted to walk toward him. Kelsey shrieked that I shouldn’t be walking. I felt a need to prove that with a little help I could get down the mountain on my own.

My legs had other plans as they quickly lost their stability and I was forced to sit down once again. David handed me a large sports drink and I quickly downed it. Kelsey and Reuben both started gulping down sports drinks of their own.

And then I blacked out again. I don’t really remember what happened next, but I remember suddenly finding myself surrounded by several Search and Rescue members. I opened my eyes and was on my back in the middle of the trail. How I got there, or when the others arrived is a complete blur to me, though according to Kelsey I was coherent and cooperative the whole time.

“We’re going to insert an IV,” one of them said. I remember my arm being tugged and wiped with alcohol. I remember the sharp stabbing pain of the needle. I remember the rescue workers discussing how fast to let the fluid drip.

And then, I just remember freezing. My legs began shaking, they were so cold. Eventually the rest of my body joined in. I remember them asking everybody for their jackets.

The next thing I remember is the head medical responder’s face directly above mine yelling something at me. I remember seeing him but not being able to talk, focus, or respond. I remember panicking and starting to cry while I felt paralyzed. I remember Kelsey’s hand on my head and how much it calmed me. I remember her telling me I’d be all right. I remember the Search and Rescue volunteer, a teacher at my Junior High, wiping the tears from my face. I remember him telling me he had reported to the people below that I was having seizure-like activity.

I remember more calls for blankets. More faces. I remember my body shaking harder than before and not being able to control it.

I remember that same head medical responder telling me they were calling for a helicopter. I remember telling him NO. I can walk down. I have to walk down. I don’t have insurance. I’m a single dad. I just need more fluid. I’ll be okay.

I remember him telling me I didn’t really have a choice and that I needed to get off the mountain. I remember being unable to argue any longer.

I remember they decided to put a second IV into my other arm. I don’t remember much except the poke, more shaking, and being covered by more layers.

I remember that incredible feeling of finally feeling warm. I remember my legs suddenly stopped hurting. I remember my mind cleared. I sat up and told everybody I was fine. I could walk down the mountain. The head medical responder told me I could try, but the helicopter was still coming. I remember just then my thigh cramped up beneath me while I sat, and I knew I didn’t have a choice. I think I told them I would do whatever they suggested.

After 20 or 30 minutes, the first helicopter appeared above us. It disappeared over the hill again and I overheard someone saying that there was no safe place for it to land so it had left.

They’d be sending up a new helicopter from Ogden with a cable system that would pull us off the mountaintop. It was all so blurry for me. I didn’t know where Kelsey or Reuben were. I closed my eyes. As hard as I tried to keep them in, tears kept emerging and rolling down my temples. I was wrapped in blankets and coats. I kept looking at the bags of liquid dripping into my body.

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 1.4 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!