MISSION VIEJO (CBSLA.com) — Rescued hiker Nicolas Cendoya was discharged from Mission Hospital on Sunday after being treated for injuries sustained during the three days he spent in the Cleveland National Forest.
The 19-year-old Costa Mesa man is expected to continue his recovery at home, the hospital said in a statement released Sunday.
“He has all the evidence of having suffered a significant blunt force trauma, probably from a fall, which can explain his amnesia for the event,” Dr. Stephen DeSantis explained at an afternoon news conference.
“He’s been doing well and he’s recovered remarkably, probably because of his good physical make-up and his youth,” the doctor said.
Cendoya was discovered on Trabuco Canyon Creek Road last Wednesday. He had gone without food or water for three days — he ate his first solid food Saturday.
Cendoya told reporters the hike had been his first. And it won’t be his last. He plans on hiking the same trail again to conquer his fears.
He and his hiking companion, Kyndall Jack, went missing last Sunday during what was supposed to be a short hike. At some point during the ordeal, the pair became separated.
Cendoya doesn’t remember falling or how they got separated. He does remember saying to Jack, “It’s pitch black. If we don’t get out of here, we are going to die.”
Doctors said Cendoya lost 15 pounds during his ordeal. Despite that, Art Barron reporting for CBS2, said Cendoya looked more “like he was leaving the gym and not a hospital.”
The 18-year-old Jack was rescued less than a mile from where she and Cendoya left their vehicle.
Cendoya’s father, Ruben, said “I am very glad for him. This whole thing was so stressful and last week was terrible for us.”
The rescued hiker told Barron he was considering switching his major from culinary arts to becoming a firefighter.
» Rescued Hiker Issues Statement, Grinning Photo From Hospital Bed
» Helicopter Crew Recalls Rescue Of Missing 18-Year-Old Hiker
» 1 Of 2 Missing OC Hikers Found Alive In Trabuco Canyon After 4-Day Search