Kyndall Jack went missing along with her friend, Nicholas Cendoya when the pair went wandering off the trail during a southern California hike March. The two were lost for days and hallucinated, but after they were found, Cendoya credited God for his survival, saying it wasn't his "time to die."
Kyndall Jack's missing status occurred when she and Cendoya determined to leave the Holy Jim Trail in Cleveland National Forest, which is 720 square miles of wilderness. The inexperienced hikers became lost, with cell phones dying and having finished their water, and then became separated while hallucinating. When Cendoya and Jack were found on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, the 19-year-old man knew the reason.
"To me this was a test from God I embraced everything," Cendoya wrote in a statement from the hospital recently. "All the cuts pain hunger thirst. I didn't cry once I pushed on for Jesus and I have finally learned to live without fear. Thank you all for keeping Kyndall Kihaipai Jack and I in your prayers."
"I just knew I would get through it. I know this wasn't my time to die. I knew that I needed this, to become the person that I'm supposed to be," Cendoya told reporters outside Mission Hospital in Orange County.
Jack recalled fighting off some sort of animal with her friend before the hallucinations took hold of her, and rescuers found her a day after Cendoya. She had tried to eat dirt and rocks, and was stranded on a cliff, severely dehydrated, and in pain.
"I honestly didn't even know I was missing. I didn't know I was done, I didn't know anything was going on," she told reporters Monday. "I just thought I was in a big dream." She personally thanked the first reserve sheriff's deputy, Fred Wenzel, who found her, and the paramedic who first treated her.
"I definitely gave up hope," she continued. "There were definitely some times I didn't think I was going to make it."
The 18-year-old was being treated at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center.