Acts of Kindness
Man dehydrated and stranded in the desert with his dog gets a miracle on sixth day alone
Mario’s plan to visit his family with his 14-year-old dog Zoe for his birthday took a disastrous turn when he took a wrong turn and found himself in a serious predicament on a dirt road.
Cherie Gozon
08.02.22

Can you imagine yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere? Unthinkable, isn’t it? Nobody would want to find themselves in a place they barely know and with little-to-no way of getting help.

Unsplash - Tim Umphreys
Source:
Unsplash - Tim Umphreys

Although, this is not far from reality. This could happen when we miss our exit or if our car breaks down on unfamiliar roads that only a few cars pass by. We could only hope that help would come the soonest as possible.

Birthday getaway

It was Mario Castro’s birthday, and he had a simple plan on how to spend it. He wanted to drive from Globe, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas, along with his dog and spend it with his mother.

YouTube Screenshot - 12News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - 12News

He buckled up to his car with only a few change of clothes in a bag. His 14-year-old dog Zoe was buckled up in his passenger’s seat. He started driving and called his mother so that he would arrive in an hour and a half. But what seemed to be a short travel home because six long and excruciating days he never expected.

Lost in the middle of nowhere

Mario missed his exit on the expressway the moment he left Las Cruces. He took the next one and tried to return to where he missed the exit but found himself in a more serious predicament.

YouTube Screenshot - 12News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - 12News

His truck struck a rock that had them stuck in the dirt path. It broke down, and he couldn’t drive out. Worse, he was in an unknown territory that only a few people would often pass by.

Six days of survival

The following days were brutal for Mario and Zoe. They tried to look for their way out, but it seemed like there was no way. They were highly dehydrated and found only a few watering holes that sustained them for a few more days.

YouTube Screenshot - 12News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - 12News

“It was very difficult. I was almost on the verge of death,” Mario told 12 News. “I felt like it was my last day. My dog’s eyes had sunk in. I felt like it was her last day too. We just hunker down underneath a tree.”

YouTube Screenshot - 12News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - 12News

It was 100 degrees on a Thursday, their sixth day out in the desert. Mario started to light his SOS sign with fire, and halfway through the letter S, he saw a white truck on the horizon.

A coincident that saved them

Frank Martinez and his wife were exploring the area for a new trail when he saw Mario, dragging his feet, trying to follow him.

He was hesitant to stop and help him since that place was known for illegal activity, yet his heart won him over and offered to drive Mario and Zoe somewhere safe.

YouTube Screenshot - 12News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - 12News

Frank was more convinced he did the right thing when he looked over his mirror. He saw Mario eating and drinking like he hadn’t for days – which was true.

More than they could ask for

Mario gave all the credit to Frank and his wife, saying that if they hadn’t taken that road, he and Zoe would’ve died there. He saved their lives.

YouTube Screenshot - 12News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - 12News

But saving their lives wasn’t the only thing Frank did. It turned out that he was a mechanic. So, he helped retrieve Mario’s truck from where it was stuck and offered to repair it.

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By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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