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A Texas marketing executive was forced to drink from a puddle and eat tadpoles to survive after he got lost in a state park during sweltering 107-degree temperatures.
Jeff Hahn, 59, of Austin, and his 25-year-old daughter Harper Hahn planned to hike just a few miles inside Big Bend Ranch State Park in mid-June.
However, their plan went South when they became lost and Jeff began to experience leg cramps as the brazen heat beat down on them, according to Texas Highways.
The pair was eight hours into the hike when they ran out of water and heat distress began to take effect on Jeff. He could only walk a short distance before needing to take a break.
“You’re exposed, there’s no place to hide,” Jeff told Texas Highway. “There’s not a blade of grass. There’s not trees.”
As his condition deteriorated, the father-daughter duo decided Harper would go on without him to find help, as they didn’t have cell reception.
She left her father at a rocky outcropping, but when she returned with park superintendent Nathanael Gold, Jeff was nowhere to be found.
Harper turned back toward her dad around 7:30 p.m. but during that time Jeff had continued to slowly move in the general direction he believed help would be in.
His legs burned and he told the local outlet the only way to ease the pain was to continue walking.
As the Hahn Marketing & Communications Principal dragged himself through the state park, he reminded himself: “Clear head. Strong legs. Harper’s on the way.”
He made his way to a shack a few miles away from the outcropping, where he found two sealed bottles filled with one liter of water each on the windowsill.
After leaving the shack, he continued through the park in the dark until his foot snagged on a rock. He fell, fracturing his wrist, and landing on a large rock, where he found a puddle of water.
As desperate as he was for a sip of water in the extreme heat, he pulled out the straw attached to his water bottle and drank it, still lying facedown.
Jeff continued, eventually clambering up a hillside and into a small canyon, Texas Highways reported. He found a stream full of tadpoles and used his hat to scoop up the fish and eat them.
Moments later, he would hear a plane in the distance and then a helicopter. A rescuer would then call out his name and they would take him back to his daughter after more than 24 hours.
Harper met her father a the trailhead, where he was sitting in a lawn chair, pale and dirty.
“My dad was just chilling like it was a soccer game,” she told Texas Highways. “He just looked like my dad.”
Jeff suffered from rhabdomyolysis, where the muscles begin to break down. It can be triggered by extreme hiking conditions. He also suffered from acute renal failure and he was taken to the hospital, where he spent several days, the outlet reported.
Since the ordeal, the executive has fully healed – minus having limited mobility in his fractured wrist.
Despite enduring a medical emergency, he plans on returning to the park and wants to replace the water bottles he drank in the shack.
“We’re going to turn ourselves into trail angels,” he told the outlet.
The Post has reached out to Hahn for comment.