FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - For most couples, honeymoons are hard to forget, but for two newlyweds from Indiana, a Caribbean honeymoon that ended with the husband falling inside a dormant volcano will be fresh on their minds for as long as they both shall live.
Fortunately, Clay Chastain survived the fall and is receiving treatment at Broward Health Medical Center.
Acaimie Chastain, Clay’s wife, relived the honeymoon gone horribly wrong.
“Gosh, I felt like I was in a movie, like in those movies where a natural disaster happens,” she said. “You come out of it, and it’s like amazing that you survived, and it’s just like a miracle.”
While in St. Kitts just days after their wedding, Clay and Acaimie decided to hike up Mount Liamuiga to take some pictures.
“It was kind of just like, ‘You started the trail,’ and I’m, ‘Oh, OK. This is kind of cool,'” said Acaimie.
The sights of the dormant volcano were breathtaking, and the couple enjoyed a picturesque hike up the mountainside.
“Beautiful rain forest, beautiful jungle, rugged terrain. Climbing up, you’re kind of like climbing on all fours getting up parts of the mountain,” said Acaimie.
Clay and Acaimie had initially planned to hike into the volcano’s crater basin together, but Acaimie said the terrain became very steep.
“They had, like, pure cord ropes tied on to rocks and fastened around trees and things like that,” she said. “I wasn’t really feeling it too much, so I was just like, ‘Hey, you go ahead. I’m just going to kind of hang out here and wait until you get to the bottom and take some pictures and then come back up,” she said.
But moments later, Clay’s rope broke.
“It was only one or two minutes later, he was out of eyesight. I heard like a really loud snap,” Acaimie recalled.
Estimating that her husband fell at least 50 feet into the floor of the volcano, Acaimie put her fear of heights aside and climbed down to get him out.
Shortly after, she found her husband’s cellphone and orange bandanna. She located him several feet away.
Acaimie said his head was bleeding.
“I just looked at him, and I said, ‘Hey, you’re gonna have to be strong. You’re gonna have to stay awake. You’re gonna have to help me hike out of here,'” she said. “I was freaking out. I just started praying to God. I was like, ‘God, we need your help. I don’t know how I’m going to get this guy out of here. He weighs like 60 pounds more than me.'”
But she somehow managed to help him out of the volcano and back down the mountain, where they called for help.
“Her being able to carry me all the way out of the volcano when I could barely stand up was amazing and nothing short of a miracle,” said Clay during a phone interview.
Clay spent five days in a local hospital before being strong enough to fly to Florida.
“We’re incredibly relieved. We’re incredibly thankful,” said Acaimie. “I mean, it was the most terrifying moment of my life.”
The new married couple is now dealing with a steady stream of mounting medical bills, including an expensive air ambulance flight to Fort Lauderdale, but they said donations have been pouring in online.
“It makes you believe in the goodness of people and know that people are good, and they do care for you,” said Acaimie.
Clay is expected to remain at Broward Health for the next several days.
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