DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A Randolph County woman who fell nearly 40-feet from a cliff broke multiple bones lived to tell her story.
On Sunday, 23-year-old Sarah Hussey fell from a cliff near Badin Lake in Davidson County. Hussey told FOX8 from her hospital room that hiking safety is something she now wants to raise awareness about.
“As I was falling, I never lost consciousness,” Hussey said. “I kept telling myself ‘I can’t die. I have to go home to my two kids. I can’t die.'”
Hussey was thinking of her two-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son when she took a life-threatening tumble that Sunday afternoon.
“About halfway up, I realized my shoes were kind of slick, and we had discussed it for a little it and decided to keep going,” she said.
“She slipped, and her footing came back for a second…then, right about the time that I thought she was good, she slipped even further, and she just rolled off the side,” said Brian Luck, Hussey’s boyfriend.
Luck ran down the hill to find her bloodied and bruised but alive.
“I was just out there, absolutely in tears, panicking, screaming, trying to keep as much blood from spilling as I possibly could, trying to keep the sun out of her face with my shadow,” Luck said.
When Luck called for help, the only details he could remember were that they saw Newsome Road before they started hiking.
“The dispatcher just kept telling me to scream ‘help’ just over and over until they could sound locate us,” Luck said.
The two said it was almost an hour and a half later when a firefighter finally heard their cries.
Numerous agencies on the scene worked for more than an hour to get her down from the rocky and treacherous terrain.
Hussey was flown to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist.
Multiple surgeries later, her faith and will to live are unshaken. She said it’s made her realize how precious life is.
“I hope that it just shows people that there is something to live for. I’ve struggled even recently with depression and stuff, and I decided on the way down that this was not going to be it for me,” Hussey said.
Now, she’s using her story of survival to warn others about the dangers of nature
“You can never be too careful. Always bring a second pair of shoes and ropes. And if you feel your shoes are slippery, go ahead and turn back. Just go ahead and turn back. It’s not worth it,” she said.
Both Luck and Hussey want to thank all the first responders and dispatchers for rescuing them.
“I would like to tell them that I am extremely grateful for everything they have done for her. If it wasn’t for them, she would not be here today. I am forever in their debt…every single one of them,” Luck said.
Hussey is a special education teacher at Uwharrie Charter Middle school and wants her students to know she loves them and plans to be back next school year.