Fresno, CA– 26-year-old Kevin Depaolo is recovering in a Fresno hospital after a miraculous escape from a terrifying ordeal. While exploring a rocky area in Inyo National Forest with his friend Josh Nelson, Depaolo found himself trapped under a massive 10,000-pound boulder.
“I was digging under this big rock, thinking it was leaning against another,” Depaolo recounted. “Little did I know, it was sitting on loose sand.” The precariously balanced boulder shifted, crashing down on Depaolo’s legs and chest, pinning him in the small crater he’d created.
Panic surged through Depaolo. Fear of succumbing to the crushing weight was palpable. Yet, amidst the horror, a powerful instinct emerged. “I managed to tear my pant leg, grab my numb leg, and drag it out from under the boulder,” he described. “It was a desperate move, but it gave me enough space to avoid being completely crushed if the rock tumbled further.”
With his friend Josh frantically on the phone with 911 for over six hours, hope and despair tugged at Depaolo’s resolve. “I told Josh to call my mom and tell her I might not make it,” he admitted, the memory still raw. “It felt like all options were bleak.”
Then, like a beacon in the dark, Inyo Search and Rescue arrived. Witnessing their approach filled Depaolo with a surge of relief. “I honestly thought I might actually make it out of this alive,” he exclaimed.
Despite the rescue, the danger was far from over. Depaolo had sustained severe injuries – a severed femoral artery, a cracked pelvis, a broken leg, and significant blood loss. The gravity of the situation demanded immediate action.
Lemoore Naval Air Station swiftly dispatched a helicopter, transporting Depaolo to Community Regional Medical Center for emergency surgery. Thankfully, skilled surgeons managed to save his leg.
“Hiking and climbing are a huge part of my life,” Depaolo shared. “Losing my legs would have been devastating. Now, I’m facing a tough recovery, but I’m determined to fight as hard as I did for my life.”
Depaolo’s unwavering spirit shines through his ordeal. Right now, regaining his ability to walk hinges on his rehabilitation. He remains confident, however, that he will not only walk again but climb mountains once more.
One significant challenge looms: medical bills. Depaolo, unburdened by insurance, is relying on his family’s support to navigate this financial hurdle.
Depaolo’s story is a testament to the human spirit’s tenacity and the incredible power of quick thinking and decisive action. It’s a reminder to cherish the outdoors while respecting its inherent risks, and a call to support those facing unexpected medical burdens.
We wish Depaolo the best in his recovery and commend his incredible bravery in the face of unimaginable adversity.
Credits: Fox Reno
Copyright 2022 775 Times, NV Globe. All rights reserved.
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