Horrific honeymoon: Newlywed recovering after fall into inactive volcano

National and World

The Indiana couple was hiking into Mt. Liamuiga's crater basin -- when something went terribly wrong

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CNN Newsource) – A horrific honeymoon tested a newly-wedded Indiana couple, but they say their bond remained strong.

A young newlywed survived a terrifying fall into a dormant volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts.

“Yeah, we’re going to be more cautious in the future,” Clay Chastain said.

He’s currently at Broward Health Medical Center in Florida, recovering.

“I got knocked unconscious at first, but then my memory goes in and out of things I remember after the fall,” he said.

Clay and his wife, Acaimie, both planned to hike into Mt. Liamuiga’s crater basin.

Acaimie only made it about 15 to 20 feet down because she’s not a big fan of heights. Clay continued on by himself.

Then his wife heard a snap, which the couple believes was his rope, and she just knew something was wrong.

“I listened really, really closely and I heard what sounded like Clay saying, ‘help’ just really, really faintly,” Acaimie said. “At that point in time, I just started freaking out. I started praying right away because, I mean, I had no idea what was going on.”

Acaimie, just over 100 pounds, helped hoist her husband out.

For hours, the pair hiked their way to help.

Clay stayed in a St. Kitts hospital, then was flown to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

“Every now and then, I’ll get headaches. I still can’t hear out of my right ear. My right ear has been deaf ever since I fell,” he said.

While Clay is still feeling the effects of the frightening fall, he is grateful to be alive — and for his wife.

“I could stand up and I could move my feet to walk, but I had no sense of direction and no balance,” he said. “The fact that I had to lean on her most of the way down, and she was able to keep going and support me through that is nothing short of a miracle.”

Clay’s family expects him to stay in the hospital for the next several days before he is released to go home.

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