VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A wrong turn on a hiking trip in Utah turned dangerous for Kristin McAllister, a Virginia Beach resident.
She was hiking in Snow Canyon back on July 19.
“It can be upwards in the 120s out there in the afternoon, so I start most of mine at 6:30, 7 o’clock in the morning,” said McAllister.
She made it halfway through her 5.5-mile trip, but on the way back to her car, she got lost. She tried retracing her steps, but continued to get lost as the sun beat down on her.
“I noticed no matter how much water I was drinking, I started feeling nauseous and sick,” she said.
McAllister needed help, but she didn’t have cell phone service.
“I realized my best bet was to probably climb the wall of the canyon, it was a couple dozen feet and it was sloped,” she said.
After making the climb she got signal and called 911 twice, once to get help finding her way getting back, a second time for a more urgent problem.
“My feet started going numb and they became cramped and I was completely immobile. I was unable to move any of my limbs at that point,” said McAllister.
McAllister, who is a nurse, knew she was feeling the symptoms of heatstroke. Emergency crews tracked her location on her phone to find her.
“They checked my temperature it was 104.3. My pulse was all over the place,” she said.
She says she had to stay in the hospital for a few hours until her vitals were stable again. Happy to have survived the incident, she warns others to be careful in the extreme heat — even here in Virginia.
“If you’re drinking water and you feel like your thirst isn’t quenched, you’re dizzy, don’t be afraid to ask for help because that ended up saving my life,” said McAllister.
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