Woman gets lost, gives birth, gets stung by bees, survives for three days on apples...and starts wildfire

Amber Pangborn says she got lost on a "shortcut" to her parents house in Oroville, northern California

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The Independent US

A woman has had possibly one of the most unlikely childbirth experiences in the middle of a Californian forest.

Amber Pangborn, a 35-year-old, attempted to take an unfamiliar shortcut through a stretch of forest on the way to her parents’ house in Oroville, near state capital Sacramento in northern California, last week after going into labour.

She told the local TV station, KCRA-TV, that there was no mobile reception and she had run out of fuel where she was. She had been forced to give birth to her baby daughter Marisa alone.

Pangborn survived on apples for three days while being attacked by bees and mosquitoes.

She said she had been stung while defending her daughter.

By Saturday, Pangborn became so desperate she started a campfire to attract attention as she feared what the wild animals would do to her.

“I was just there at the end, thinking, 'Oh my God." I wasn’t sure if we were going to actually get out of there,” she said.

Unfortunately the fire quickly grew out of control and  the “whole side of the mountain caught on fire.

She said: “I was looking at Marisa and was like, ‘I think Mommy just started a forest fire.”


But fortunately the blaze caught the attention of US Forest Service officials who quickly rescued her and took her to be treated at the Oroville hospital and she has since been released.

Baby Marisa was taken to UC Davis Medical Center and is reported to be in a good condition.

The baby, who has three older sisters, was born prematurely due to Pangborn having had gastric bypass surgery several years ago, and will need additional care.

“I was crying, I was so happy, I thought we were gonna die,” Pangborn said. “I’m so glad someone had finally seen us.”

Grandmother Dianna Williams told the LA Times that their daughter went to a casino on Wednesday to see a friend and hopefully induce labour.

She said: “They would have never found her if she didn’t start the fire."

When she didn’t come home, Dianna said they put out an urgent appeal on Facebook.

The Forest Service said the fire is under investigation but their “thoughts and best wishes” are with mother and baby.