Second Rescued Hiker Hallucinated She Was 'Being Eaten by a Python'

Image: Second Rescued Hiker Hallucinated She Was 'Being Eaten by a Python' Kyndall Jack, one of the two hikers who became lost for nearly a week in the Cleveland National Forest last week, talks about her ordeal and thanks rescuers during a news conference outside UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif., Monday, April 8, 2013.

Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013 02:57 PM

By Alexander Ward

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Kyndall Jack, one of the two teens who was lost for days after an Easter Sunday hike near Trabuco Canyon, Calif., says that during the ordeal, she felt like she was trapped in a dream, and hallucinated that she was "being eaten by a python."

Jack, 18, and Nicholas Cendoya, 19, had planned a first date hiking in Southern California's Cleveland National Forest on Easter Sunday, but the meeting took a turn when the pair became lost. Cendoya placed a desperate call to 911 but his cell phone battery died before the dispatcher could pinpoint their location. The teens had no food and had run out of water.

Cendoya and Jack got separated sometime Sunday night. Rescuers launched an extensive search effort, utilizing bloodhounds, horses, infrared sensors, and helicopters. After four days of searching, Cendoya was spotted around 8 p.m. Wednesday. He was severely dehydrated, disoriented, shirtless, and barefoot, with scratches on his feet and body.

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Jack was found several hours later, shoeless and clinging to a ledge. She was airlifted to UC Irvine Medical Center where she was treated for minor cuts and bruises, dehydration, frostbite, and hypothermia. She was released Monday but still wheelchair-bound.

"I definitely gave up hope. There were some times I didn't think I was going to make it," Jack told reporters outside the hospital Monday. "I don't remember drinking anything. I know I ate dirt. I tried to eat some dirt and rocks."

Jack said she began to suffer hallucinations.

"My parents were in jail half the time, in my mind, and I was searching for my little sister, so that's all I remember," Jack said. "I was being eaten by a python half the time."

Cendoya too experienced visions of wild animals.

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"I started becoming a savage. I saw tigers. I thought tigers were stalking me," Cendoya told reporters Sunday after he was released from Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. "The last thing I could tell you was going into a lucid dream. I can't even tell you when I woke up. I was in lucid dreams and hallucinations for days. I could see the helicopters flying over me every day. When the firefighters came up to me, I couldn't even believe it. We weren't meant to die.

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