On the weekend of Oct. 21, O-Rec trip leader Peter Vidmar led a backpacking and stargazing trip in Lost Maples expecting nothing more than some good ole fresh air and relaxation. Little did Peter know that he would return having saved someone’s life.
Lost Maples State Natural Area is located in the heart of Texas hill country and is characterized by a combination of limestone canyons and grassy plateaus. The hike into many of the area’s primitive campsites requires a considerable rise in elevation over rocky terrain.
After he and the other trip leaders had made camp atop one of these plateaus, Vidmar and trip leader Larsen Andrews went for a short jaunt to check out some of the views. Early into the hike, they came across a group of four elderly people. One of the women approached the boys and politely asked if they could spare some food. She explained that two of her party were diabetic, and they were really struggling after embarking on a loop trail much longer than they had expected.
Andrews retrieved a bag of trail mix for the group and Vidmar had the man, who was looking particularly bad, take a glucose supplement that Vidmar kept in his first aid kit. Recognizing that the man was in a dire condition, breaking out in a cold sweat and showing other symptoms of the early stages of diabetic shock, Vidmar decided to help the man down off the plateau to an awaiting ranger. He had Andrews stay with the group so they wouldn’t get worried that two trip leaders had suddenly disappeared. Vidmar then proceeded to help the man down the treacherous trail step by step, most of the time supporting the man’s entire weight. Then once the man was safe with the park rangers, Vidmar ran back up the steep quarter mile trail and helped down the rest of the party one by one. The park ranger informed Vidmar that the man’s health easily could have deteriorated beyond the hope of saving had Vidmar not given him the glucose and hastened his evacuation. Once he returned to the O-Rec group, Vidmar recounted his actions and assured the participants that the man was safely on his way to the hospital.
When Larsen remarked that Vidmar was a hero for doing what he did, Vidmar sternly claimed that he wasn’t. It is easy to say that if presented with a similar situation, anyone would have done as he did. But the fact of the matter is that people are often afraid to lend a helping hand to the people around them because they feel that it is either unnecessary or not worth the effort. I challenge all of Trinity to both prove the doubters wrong, and also to show that Vidmar’s heroic actions do not go unnoticed.
Lauren Davis is a sophomore majoring in neuroscience. Larsen Andrews is a junior majoring in history.