A San Diego teen ended up with 62 pieces of hardware holding his body together after he tried to experience something “otherworldly” by running through a hotel window while high on salvia.
Sam Taylor, 19, recounted how he narrowly avoided death while experimenting with the legal hallucinogenic plant in an interview with NBC 7 published Tuesday.
“They said I had a 15% chance of survival when I came in [to the hospital],” Taylor said.
Taylor came away from the experience with a pair of broken feet, several broken ribs, and a broken pelvis, right wrist, and sternum.
Doctors used over 60 pieces of hardware to piece his body back together following his massive fall.
The recreational drug can distort sensations of time and space.
The 19-year-old recalled thinking at the time he was high that his friend’s face looked like it was melting.
Video footage taken from security cameras inside a Salt Lake City hotel showed Taylor darting out of a fifth-floor room and running around a corner, while his “trip sitter,” or designated sober person meant to look after him, follows behind.
The footage shows Taylor racing down a hallway that ends with a large window, but the teen never stops.
Shattered glass falls to the ground as Taylor flies through the window, tumbling toward the parking lot below.
Emergency room psychologist Dr. Willough Jenkins told the outlet that salvia is often mistaken for cannabis, especially in California, since it’s not illegal and can easily be purchased online or in smoke shops.
“It creates such intense dissociation, meaning losing touch with reality,” Jenkins said. ”This is not safe. Because it is not as regulated does not mean it is safe and the actual experience is incredibly unpleasant.”
That dissociation is what Taylor experienced, and is now warning others against.
“I had been doing psychedelics for five years. I’ve tripped over 100 times in my life. Salvia is my last trip ever,” he said.
“There was a point not too long ago where I thought I would never walk again. So to even be walking around today with a cane, it feels really good.”
The teen’s mother, Becca Budd, said the whole ordeal was terrifying but that she is trying to see beyond the tragedy and be a positive influence in her son’s life.
“What are we going to do moving forward? That’s all we can think about, is what are we going to do moving forward,” she said.