Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Making Good Decisions

The difference between life and death sometimes comes down to the decisions you make. Consider the following story as an example. As you read this true survival story, see if you can identify some key decisions that made a difference.

A 76-year-old diabetic man named James Klemovich (who, by the way, also wears a pacemaker and has had triple-bypass surgery) and his 75-year-old friend Lazlo Szabo decided to drive a Lincoln Town Car out into a remote region of the Nevada desert to check out some abandoned mines. This is an area where there was no cell phone coverage, and the total population of the county (7000) is spread out over an area of 6000 square miles. Not exactly a crowded spot on the planet where one might expect to bump into other folks along the way.

At some point in the trip, the car became stuck on a snowy, muddy, lonely dirt trail. The two men went to work attempting to free the car, but were unsuccessful. They lit flares to try to attract attention — but apparently there was nobody around to see the flares. They started a fire, hoping someone would see the smoke during the day or the light at night. Nobody did.

Time passed, but nobody came to their rescue. They used an old towel to strain water from a ditch, and they melted snow for drinking. But with no food and only ditch water and snowmelt to drink, Szabo decided after 4 or 5 days to leave his friend and the site of the stranded vehicle and attempt to walk out to get help.

As luck would have it, after 10 days in the desert, with nothing to eat and only his melted snow to drink, James Klemovich was found by military personnel who were conducting training in that part of the desert.

Lazlo Szabo was found dead a mile and a half away.

When contacted about the discovery of her husband, Joanne Klemovich mentioned that she started to worry when several days had passed without receiving a phone call from James. "I figured maybe they'd had an accident and they were stranded. I thought maybe they were in a mine shaft. All kinds of things were going through my head."

While Klemovich sat in his stranded vehicle, waiting for his friend Szabo to return with help, he kept a journal. He noted how much water he drank and what he did each day. And  each day he wrote a letter for his wife of 48 years.

Here's a situation when two men got into trouble, and only one survived. Ironically, the survivor was the man who had the more serious health issues. What got them into this trouble, and what got them to their individual final outcomes?

Feel free to send me comments about the decisions you think were made that led to this survival incident — both the good decisions and the bad ones.

Please keep your comments appropriate to this audience, because I actively use the delete button for inappropriate language or comments.

1 comment:

  1. I decided to get out of the Eagles before I had to take a taxi home.