BOSTON (CBS) – It was incredible will to survive. American researcher Dr. John All used his cellphone to capture the frightening moments after he fell seventy feet into a Himalayan mountainside.
“Can’t go that way now,” he’s heard saying on the cellphone video.
The experienced climber, scaling Mount Himlung in Nepal, said he thought he might die as he spent hours trapped in the hole alone with a broken arm, ribs and dislocated shoulders.
He even posted a plea on Facebook that said “bad shape, need help.”
“Thankfully I didn’t keep falling that way,” he says pointing to the gaping hole.
The plea for help went directly to Boston-based Global Rescue, a crisis response firm that provides medical and security evacuation services. Using two-way satellite texting, they had critical care paramedic Jeffrey Weinstein coach Dr. All on how to survive the night.
“We received a response from him that said, ‘How long do I have to survive,’” said Weinstein. “He needs to get shelter, he needs to get warmth if he wants to survive the night.”
Somehow the six-foot-five, 240-lb. geography professor from Kentucky climbed out using an ice ax.
It took him several more hours to crawl to his tent.
Global Rescue was trying to get a helicopter to the scene but weather conditions prevented a rescue until the next morning, which made it a long and terrifying night for All.
“I knew how badly I was injured. I couldn’t move my arm, and I was in piercing agony,” he said.
Even Global Rescue says John All’s efforts to help himself seem unprecedented.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this before,” said spokeswoman Ann Shannon. “He saved his life by having his friends call to us that he was in harm’s way.”
All and his research team originally planned to climb near Mt. Everest, but it was shut down after 16 Nepalese guides died in an avalanche last month. One of those guides was from John All’s team.
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