Isn’t it incredible when a last-minute decision changes someone’s life in a major way?
On the day after Thanksgiving, Allison Scott and her boyfriend, Alfred Valdivia, Jr., made the decision to head up to Big Bear Lake in California for a last-minute camping trip. The couple packed up their gear and brought along their dog for the planned overnight, never once imagining that they were actually setting out on a rescue mission for a man they’d never met.
Allison and Alfred picked a camping spot between Big Bear Lake and Angelus Oaks. They were relaxing when, suddenly, a low-flying plane caught their attention. As the plane went by, they heard a man’s voice calling out for help somewhere nearby. Curious, they tracked the sound to a ridgeline, and at the bottom of the hill, a man named Eric was stranded.
“We end up finding him, and my boyfriend is looking over the ridge and calling out, ‘Hey I see you,'” Allison recalled. “He had a stick with a water bottle on it trying to signal. He couldn’t walk. His feet were extremely swollen and infected just from walking so much, and possibly the cold where he was.”
Allison and Alfred climbed down to Eric and learned that he’d set out from his home in Oceanside two weeks earlier. No one knew where he was, and no one was looking for him. He doesn’t own a cell phone, either. He’d managed to survive for the past 14 days eating only a half a jar of salsa he’d brought along for the hike.
Eric told the couple it was a “Thanksgiving miracle” they’d discovered him at all. He was extremely weak and hungry. Allison used her cell phone to call 911, and within 15 minutes a rescue helicopter arrived to airlift the starving man to safety.
Once Eric had been safely evacuated, Allison and Alfred continued on their camping trip as planned, but with a very cool story to tell when they returned to civilization!
Later, Allison tracked Eric down to check on him. He promised the couple dinner would be on him next time they find themselves in Oceanside!
Eric is so lucky that this couple decided to go camping that day. This story is a great reminder to everyone: Always tell someone where you’re going and when to expect you back when you’re going on an adventure! And always bring more supplies than you think you’ll need.
Please share this important reminder with others.
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