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Injured And Trapped In A Ravine, His Facebook Post Saved Their Lives

Michael Lythcott / Stacey Eno - Facebook

Facebook has developed a bad reputation these days, as people often complain the site is "rotting our brains" or ruining friendships.

But a pair of American tourists owe their lives to the website, after a Facebook post saved them from death at the bottom of a remote jungle ravine.

Their incredible story is proof that even online friends can be the difference between life or death.

A Dangerous Accident

Michael Lythcott, 36, has been traveling the world for years. He's been to 55 countries so far, and uses apps like Facebook to keep in touch with his friends around the world.

Lythcott had been traveling through Asia since February, and planned to visit the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia in August.

There, he met up with his friend and traveling companion Stacey Eno, who flew to Bali from South Korea, where she works as an English teacher.

But just seven hours into their tour of the island, Lythcott and Eno's holiday turned into a desperate struggle to survive.

The pair were riding a scooter back to their hotel when a van passed in front of them.

"After it passed, I could see a turn coming up," Lythcott remembered, "So I hit the brakes as normal, but the brakes didn't slow the bike leaving us very little time to make a move and not enough time to negotiate the turn."

The pair went skidding into a ditch, where they both lost consciousness.

"Help. In danger. Call police."

Indonesia Rescue
Ubud, BaliMax Pixel

When Lythcott came to, he was lying on his back and staring up at the sky from a roadside ravine.

He could feel his body slowly sliding further down the ravine, but couldn't stop himself from moving.

"My back felt half broken," he said. “I couldn't move and barely could pull myself up when I found a thick vine in the dark. Every move, I kept slipping."

The sound of rushing water below told Lythcott that if he slid down too far he could be carried away, or even drown.

Indonesia Rescue
Lythcott was badly injured in the crash.Michael Lythcott - Facebook

He called out to Eno, and she called back, saying she had been badly hurt and couldn't move.

Lythcott tried to call for help with a local cell phone he had purchased, but it had flown out of his pocket in the crash.

"I then did think 'I'm gonna die here,' because no one knew we were here or went over and we were both hurt and for a minute I couldn't even remember how we got there."

Indonesia Rescue
Lythcott's emergency post.Michael Lythcott - Facebook

But Lythcott's American phone was still in his pcket. He was "just barely" able to get a signal, and put out a distress call on Facebook.

"Help. In danger. Call police."

"I don't want to think about what would have happened if he didn't have his phone."

Aimee Sparks, a former traveling buddy of Lythcott's from Seattle, was one of the first people to see his emergency message.

"I saw Mikey's post just a minute or two after it went up," she said. "I work remotely and tend to have Facebook open while I work. I saw it and of course was startled and a bit surprised... I worried that he had been drugged or kidnapped or something."

She called Lythcott right away, and could tell just from his voice that he was badly injured.

In fact, things were worse than she knew: one of Lythcott's hands was not working, and his phone's battery was running out.

"He said he didn't know where he was, that he woke up in the woods. He was very disoriented," said Sparks. "I asked him if he could send me [his GPS coordinates], which he did."

Meanwhile, Lythcott's friends from around the world joined the rescue mission:

One person from Los Angeles found Lythcott's location from an online map. Another person from Canada called contacts in Bali to start a search for the tourists.

Friends from the Netherlands and the Czech Republic also called the local consulates and police departments.

"I don't want to think about what would have happened if he didn't have his phone, or if his battery was dead," Sparks said.

A Race Against Time

Indonesia recue
The tourists were finally rescued and taken to hospital.Gianyar Regency

A worker from the consulate called Lythcott, telling him that a rescue was underway, but Lythcott's phone suddenly died.

As the trapped tourists lost consciousness, sliding further down the ravine, Lythcott kept telling Eno over and over that they would be saved - just to cheer her up.

"I really thought we would die," he said, "so I wanted to comfort her."

After what felt like hours, rescuers finally arrived and pulled the tourists to safety.

At a local hospital, Lythcott was treated for a fractured skull, broken wrist, and perforated abdomen.

Eno had fractured her cheekbones, nose, and wrist, and had split her tongue.

Lythcott is still in an Indonesian hospital, recovering slowly and counting his blessings as he waits to fly home to Atlanta.

Listen to Michael describe his accident and rescue:

So what happened to us? Here is my recap of the accident + rescue via social media. Help w/rising costs: https://www.gofundme.com/michael-lythcott-bali-accident

Posted by Michael Lythcott on Sunday, September 2, 2018

"I know travel is scary and risky sometimes but there is no way either of us will stop," Eno said.

"Yes, without technology and friends we would have not survived. Without the people we met along our adventures we would be much deeper in trouble and less of this magic you give."

Eno and Lythcott both have expensive medical bills from being treated out of country. You can support her GoFundMe page here and his GoFundMe page here.

[H/T: CNN]

Has this dramatic story scared you out of planning your next vacation?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com