On Tuesday, a video of a helicopter rescue that didn’t go quite as planned made the rounds on social media. After 74-year-old injured hiker Kati Metro was lifted from the ground in a stretcher, it began to spin at high speed as the helicopter ascended.
According to her husband, George Metro, Kati is still feeling the effects of the event, per The Arizona Republic.
“As the husband of that 74-year-old woman, I can state that she was more than dizzy after her helicopter ride,” he said in a Facebook post.
So how did it all happen?
George and Kati — both experienced hikers — were traversing Piestewa Peak in Phoenix, Arizona, when Kati fell and broke her nose. After a 30-minute wait, first responders arrived, laid her down onto the rescue basket, and began to lift her up from the ground.
FOX 10 Phoenix reports that when George arrived at the trauma center, he was shocked at what he saw.
“Her eyes were all blackened. Her face was all black and blue. Her hands and feet were blue. And I said, ‘Jesus, what happened?’ She didn’t look like this when they put her in the gurney.”
George says that Kati is still recovering in the hospital. She suffered from a nose injury, facial cuts, and a wrist and hip injury from her initial fall. Not only that — her face is still black from the broken blood vessels, and her hands and feet are swollen from the high-speed spinning.
Painful-sounding update to that viral helicopter rescue, f/woman's husband: “She told me that she thought she was going to die and that she tried to control her breathing.” Her face is black from blood vessels that broke in the spinning. https://t.co/pfA2hN8buP via @clairerafford— Amy B Wang (@amybwang) June 7, 2019
Although Kati has not publicly commented on the event and is likely focusing her energy on recovering, her husband has revealed what was going through her head during the viral moment.
“She told me that she thought that she was going to die and that she tried to control her breathing because she felt that she was going to pass out.”
WILD HELICOPTER RESCUE: Firefighters say a 74-year-old woman had to be flown off of Piestewa Peak this morning after she suffered an injury while hiking.— FOX 10 Phoenix (@FOX10Phoenix) June 4, 2019
STORY: https://t.co/H4HavJnsgn pic.twitter.com/2FPQR0qiZ9
But George added that despite the unfortunate event, he is grateful to the Phoenix Fire Department rescue crews for rescuing his wife. Although there are no updates on her condition from doctors, she did receive medications to treat nausea and dizziness, and George says that doctors are still running computed tomography (CT) scans.
Neighbors that know Kati are confident that she will get through the recovery process and be back on the mountains in no time.
“Knowing Kati, when she gets up and about they’ll be back on the mountain again,” said Ron Rymer.
Until then, George has been sticking by Kati’s side at the hospital.