Missing Joshua Tree hiker found alive after 5 days

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (KABC) -- A hiker stranded for five days in Joshua Tree National Park is now recovering in a hospital after sustaining serious injuries.

Paul Hanks fractured his left leg, forehead and pelvic area while he was hiking along some rocks and slipped.

He was visiting the park from San Diego for his 54th birthday last week.

Hanks crawled for miles but only found shelter under a tree. Running out of hope, he was able to find rainwater and a cactus for food.

"You're out there and you're on your last breath of life, I would think you would be fantasizing about much greater things, but for some reason I was just fantasizing about chugging down a Gatorade," Hanks said.

On his fifth day in the park, Hanks finally found search and rescue crews, who were able to bring him to safety.

Hanks was then taken to a Palm Springs hospital.
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