‘We Weren’t Meant To Die,’ Rescued Hiker Says

A rescued hiker in California claimed, “We weren’t meant to die,” after he was released from the hospital on Saturday. The teen, Nicholas Cendoya, was one of two hikers missing for days near Trabuco Canyon.

Cendoya, 19, and Kyndall Jack, 18, took off on March 31. But when they failed to return on time, a massive search effort was launched.

Cendoya was discovered on Wednesday evening barefoot, shirtless, and disoriented. He was taken to the hospital for dehydration and other injuries. Jack was found on Thursday morning, also shoeless and clinging to a ledge.

Nicholas Cendoya spoke on Saturday at a press conference outside Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Cendoya. He explained that the pair “just wanted to go on an Easter adventure.” He added, “We weren’t meant to die.”

The pair got lost and tried to call 911. Unfortunately, their cell phone battery died. They then tried to find their way down the mountain, but they fell and got separated.

After that, Cendoya stated that he doesn’t remember much, aside from eating plants to stay alive and hallucinating being stalked by tigers.

In a separate statement released by the hospital, Cendoya added:

“The whole time I was lost, I felt the presence of Jesus and my friend, Carlos, who died last year of cancer. I felt like they were both with me, inspiring me to stay alive.”

Cendoya suffered blunt-force trauma to a lung, likely from his fall on the mountain. The fall also caused amnesia. The teen also had an injury that allowed air to escape from his lungs and pool in his chest. His life-threatening experience also created something good. Cendoya announced that he plans to become either a police officer or a firefighter.

The two rescued hikers have yet to reunite despite being rescued earlier this week. Cendoya expressed his desire to see Jack for himself and make sure she is really okay. The pair were hanging out for the first time when they got lost on their hike.