Backpacker stays in hospital

Author: Press Association

Jamie Neale, 19, from north London was found alive but dehydrated by
sightseers in the Blue Mountains national park, west of Sydney, yesterday
morning.

He was taken to Katoomba’s Blue Mountains Hospital to be treated for
dehydration and exposure.

A hospital spokeswoman said today: “He may be released tomorrow. We’re taking
it one day at a time. We’re waiting on test results.

“He is stable and resting comfortably and has eaten well.”

She said Mr Neale’s father, Richard Cass, had been staying with him.

Kevin Hedge, Director Clinical Operations-Western Cluster, Sydney West Area
Health Service spokesman said he would remain in hospital for another night
for observation and further investigations.

“Both Mr Neale and his father slept well on their first night there,” he added.

Mr Neale said: “I am very grateful to everybody for their help and support.”

Mr Cass, who flew to Australia a week ago to join the search, said he had
given up hope.

He was waiting at the airport to fly home yesterday morning when he received a
text message from police saying there was good news.

“The words ‘good news’ told me everything. That was when I knew he was safe,”
he said.

Mr Cass told reporters he had been so sure he would never see his son alive
again that he had even said goodbye by burying a red rose and lighting a
candle at the national park where he also scratched his son’s name and date
of birth into the ground.

“He’s come back from the dead,” he said. “I’m just so pleased to see him. It’s
fantastic.”

Mr Neale left the UK for Australia on June 20 for his first big trip which was
due to include Laos, Vietnam and Nepal.

He arrived in Australia on June 22 and checked into the Katoomba youth hostel,
in New South Wales, on July 2.

He left the hostel for a walk in the Blue Mountains at 9.40am on July 3 and
was seen about noon on top of the Ruined Castle, a rock formation in the
Jamison Valley. He told other sightseers that he intended to walk east
towards Mount Solitary.

The alarm was raised when he failed to arrive for a pre-paid tour of the
Jenolan Caves the following day and police found his mobile phone and
identification in his hostel room.

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