INDIANAPOLIS — A newly married Crawfordsville couple should be back in Central Indiana tonight. Instead, they’re in a hospital, in a different country.
After an accident, Clay Chastain and his wife, Acaimie, need help to return home from their honeymoon in St. Kitts. They were married July 13, and had planned to return home Sunday.
The couple was hiking last Thursday, when they came across a rope leading down into a dormant volcano. Clay started the climb down, but then the rope snapped and he fell about 70 feet down a steep incline. His wife climbed down after him, and found him badly hurt at the bottom.
Acaimie helped him walk almost four miles to get help where there was cell service. There were not many people on the trail, and Clay said they had only seen one other man the whole day.
“I don’t remember the rope snapping,” Clay, 23, said. “One minute I am climbing down this rope trail and then the next minute I am sitting with a pile of bloody vomit around me with my wife trying to stand me back up to help me back up the crater.”
Tonight, Clay is still in the hospital in St. Kitts recovering from a concussion and a skull fracture. He explained several things he would have done differently.
“One would be to hire a tour guide because I am sure they know which parts are safe and which parts are not and how long those ropes have been up there and how safe they are to use,” he said. “If you are going to do anything like this, don’t do it alone because I don’t know if I would have made it out completely in one piece without my wife to carry it out. And if you are going to do anything like this, make sure you are properly secured.”
Due to Clay’s injuries, he cannot take a commercial flight home and needs an air ambulance to get back into the states. Their insurance will not cover the emergency air transport to Florida that costs at least $29,000. They would then need to travel to Indiana.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the new couple home and to help cover the continued medical expenses. As of Monday evening, more than $31,000 of the original $35,000 goal has been raised.