A California nurse and single mother of two died Saturday after an accident while hiking Mount Whitney. CBS Los Angeles reports Cassandra Bravo dedicated the past two years to saving lives at Loma Linda University Medical Center and, in her final days, the 34-year-old tried her best to save her own.
“Her spirit was so strong,” said her friend, Luisa Moya. “She was badass.”
Moya said Bravo was taking a quick day hike along the Mt. Whitney trail last Thursday when she slipped and fell about 100 feet down rocky terrain.
Bravo survived two nights alone in freezing temperatures as a snowstorm approached, sheltering her severely injured body by dragging herself underneath a log.
“She survived two very cold nights and was alive when they rescued her,” Moya said. “I’m so proud of her for that.”
Bravo’s father, as well as other family and friends, joined search and rescue teams who eventually located her and brought her to a hospital.
Hours later, she succumbed to her injuries.
“I got to hug her and tell her I loved her and tell her goodbye,” said her son, Jonathan. “She meant everything to me.”
Jonathan, 10, said he wanted everyone to know how incredibly hard his mom worked to make him and his 7-year-old sister happy. He said he’s proud of her for being a single mother with a blossoming career.
“It just sucks that she saved so many lives just for hers to be taken,” Jonathan said. “It’s not right.”
In a statement, Loma Linda University Medical Center called Bravo “an incredible woman, mother, friend, and nurse.”
“She was passionate about nursing and she was an incredible advocate for her patients,” the medical center said. “She was a single mom who loved her children fiercely and has left a legacy that will always be remembered.”
Moya said she will always remember the search and rescue team telling Bravo that her family was there too when she was found.
“She knew that her people were there, her family was there,” she said. “We didn’t give up on her, and then we found her.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to assist Bravo’s family.