A California woman ran out of gas on a back road and wound up stranded in the woods for three days, during which she gave birth, survived on apples and water, and fought valiantly to keep swarms of bugs off of her newborn baby, KCRA (Sacramento) is reporting.
Amber Pangborn of Oroville was going into labor and decided to go to her parents’ house (it’s not clear why she chose to go there instead of a hospital). She decided to try out a shortcut that she had heard about.
“I was told about this back road and people had showed it to me a few times but I had never driven it by myself.”
Needless to say, it was a bad decision: Amber soon ran out of cell phone service. Then she ran out of gas.
If being heavily pregnant and stranded in Nevada’s Plumas National Forest weren’t bad enough, at about 5:00 a.m., her problems got much worse: she gave birth, stranded and alone, and miles from anywhere.
Then the bugs came.
“Then bees came out they were trying to get the placenta and I was not letting them sting her and I got stung trying to keep them away from the baby, but they wanted the placenta.”
Pangborn spent the next three days fighting off bugs and subsisting only on a few apples and a small amount of water, according to WTHR (Indianapolis).
Finally, desperation gave in, and Amber did the only thing she could think of: she tried to start a signal fire, using a lighter and an aerosol can. It didn’t go as planned.
“The fire just went whofff and the whole side of the mountain just caught on fire and I was just looking at Marissa. I named my daughter Marissa and I was like, I think mommy just started a forest fire.”
She may have started a forest fire, but the ends justify the means, as they say: her plan worked, and soon helicopters were circling overhead.
“And I was just so happy because I really thought we were going to die. I was just so thankful that someone had seen us and we were going to be ok.”
Amber and Marissa were both transported to a hospital for further evaluation. As of this post, mother and baby are both doing fine.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock / Aleksander Bolbot]