In the early hours of Thanksgiving, Tara Larosa took time to enjoy her late-night victory over Takayo Hashi, looking forward to what good things might come in 2011. Then she nearly lost it all.
LaRosa became disoriented with severe dehydration and mild hypothermia on Sunday in below-freezing conditions on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in the southwestern Pennsylvania town of Somerset, she told MMA DieHards. She had to be rescued by rangers, rendered nearly unable to move after hiking through snowy conditions in sub-freezing temperatures and lower wind chills for 12 miles on Sunday after starting with six miles on Saturday in what was to be a 70-mile head-clearing excursion.
Taken to Somerset Hospital, LaRosa was given an IV for re-hydration, treated for hypothermia and released early Monday.
She narrowly escaped what could have been a tragic fate, thanks to a potentially life-saving text message that found its way to South Jersey via what she believes was formulated through her guardian angel.
After a few hours of treatment but with no money or identification, arrangements were made for her at a local motel to recuperate. She headed back to her Philadelphia home on Monday evening, somewhat worse for wear but with no permanent damage.
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