A teenager cheated death on her gap year when she slipped and fell 30ft at a Thailand beauty spot and broke HALF the bones in her body.
Lucky Natalie Cook, 19, suffered a catalogue of injuries including a double femur fracture, broken hip, pelvis, pubic bone and wrist.
Her travelling companions thought she was dead but Natalie said she willed herself to live and miraculously survived.
She was on a jungle trek when she slipped on a wet rock at a waterfall in the Mae Wang district, just five days into her five-week trip of a lifetime.
She was carried to the roadside on a plank of wood by 15 of fellow trekkers in 100-degree heat and then driven to hospital in agony along the rough jungle roads.
She said: “Half of the bones in my body were broken and as soon as they lifted me, my body rolled in the sheet and everything crunched and cracked.
“As soon as I landed everything was in slow motion – everything was so quiet and I could feel my mind begin to drift away from me.
“I vividly remember telling myself, ‘you have got to stay awake, if you go unconscious then you’re going to die’.
“I truly believe this was the moment I decided to stay alive and with that thought, I started gasping for air.
“The people I was with later told me they thought I was dead.”
Natalie also suffered internal bleeding to her abdomen and serious damage to her lower back.
She was put in a taxi van for the hour-long journey to a clinic near the city of Chiang Mai.
She added: “I was screaming in pain every time we hit a bump or a rock.
“We eventually made it to the clinic, where they put a sheet underneath me and four of them grabbed each corner.
“They lifted me up and I howled in absolutely, searingly painful agony.”
Her parents David Cook and Alison Poxton flew to Thailand after hearing of the accident in May.
They were at her hospital bedside with her boyfriend Christopher Cuevas where she spent seven weeks before returning to Britain.
Natalie, from Garforth, West Yorks., flew home with a medical escort at the end of June and hopes to start walking again in about 10 weeks.
She said: “I’m slowly healing – but it’s still very hard to properly confront what happened.
“It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of a holiday – but you need to always remember what you have learned about safety. There could be danger anywhere.”
She has vowed to return to Thailand when she is well enough to again follow her dream of travelling the world.
She said: “I’m determined to go back to Thailand though and see the nurses that looked after me – I owe such a lot to everyone that helped on the day and afterwards.”