Portland man rescued after becoming ill during Marion County hike

Hiker rescued after getting sick on trail

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland man is recovering at home after a frightening ordeal on a hiking trail in rural Marion County.

“Pretty scary,” said Trace Downen. 

Downen and his three brothers left the Opal Creek trailhead Friday for a two-day hike. On Saturday afternoon, somewhere near the Whetstone Mountain area, Downen got sick.

“My muscles seized up,” he said. “I had a hard time breathing, couldn’t talk or move, my vision was shaky, apparently my heart rate was skyrocketing.”

The 27-year-old could not go any farther. His brothers called for help. Nearly two dozen rescuers hiked four miles to reach Downen.

“Their willingness to stop everything and hike out with all that stuff to help somebody else is inspiring and courageous,” Downen said.

It was inspiring and courageous because it was only half the battle. The rescuers from several different agencies had to carry Downen to a clearing where he was eventually airlifted to safety.  He said he will be forever grateful.

“I don’t think I would’ve survived,” he said. “I’m incredibly lucky there’s this resource in the area.”

© 2017 KGW-TV


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