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Paraplegic Left In Desert Crawls Four Miles
A paraplegic man has said he dragged himself four miles down a dirt road over three days to get help after being stranded in the desert without his wheelchair.
Ricky Gilmore is in intensive care suffering from acute kidney failure due to dehydration, cuts to his buttocks and leg, a sprained wrist and a blood infection following his ordeal.
The 49-year-old said a couple who had picked him up while he was hitchhiking had left him in the New Mexico desert south of the town of Shiprock after he had refused to share his alcohol with them.
"It was dark and I was shivering and the wind was blowing, so I just crawled to a bush and dug in right there. It was cold that night," he said.
But when the sun came up he decided he had to move on.
"I started dragging myself. I did the same thing all day and I only got about two miles," he said.
Two vehicles passed, but when he tried to flag them down they honked their horns and carried on.
"I could have easily gave up and said forget it, but I said I'm not going to freeze out here and I just kept on going," he said.
On the third afternoon, a man in a truck stopped and called for help.
"I don't think I would have made it another night," he said.
Mr Gilmore said he had been hitchhiking for 19 years since he lost the use of his legs in a car crash, but this was the first time anything like this had happened to him.
He is heavily bandaged and it could be up to a week before he is well enough to go home.
"Ah man, I'm just a big mess. I ache and I'm just in the first stages of healing," he said.