Parker was brought back to Houston Methodist hospital, he says he is grateful to be alive. He survived by rappelling down the cliff and stumbling to a nearby stream to drwon the bees which were covering his head.

A Sugar Land rock climber who was stung more than 1,000 times in an attack by Africanized bees is telling the remarkable story of how he survived alone in a Belize jungle.

Mitch Parker, 29, lives in the central American country working on environmental impact studies ahead of potential oil and gas development.

The expert rock climber was exploring new terrain up a 200 foot high cliff when a wrong move with his rope led to an attack so vicious he thought he was going to die.

"I was just sort of cutting bushes away and checking the climb was worthwhile ... then I threw my rope somewhat hastily through a hole and as soon as I got down to that ledge I started getting stung," said Parker.



The bees were relentless. Eight or 10 stings soon became an onslaught.

"They just came in such an acceleration, that was the most frightening thing, within seconds they were covering my head, trying to get in my nose and my mouth," the Sugar Land climber said.

Trapped and alone on the ledge, Parker had no choice but to find a way down, forcing him to rappel down through the bushes and past the main hive.

"'I thought, this is it, I'm going to die on this stupid ledge,' I was screaming and pacing around, I couldn't even see much because the bees were in my eyes," Parker said.

It took around half an hour for the 29-year-old to make it to the bottom where he ran to a nearby stream and jumped in the water to drown the bees.

"That was a very smart move ... he is really lucky," said Dr. Rana Bonds, allergy and immunology specialist at UTMB, "A 1000 stings is in the realm of the number that can kill ... the thing that's so dangerous about them is they sting in the group ... and they don't give up easily, they keep pursuing you."

Parker went into severe anaphylactic shock. Unable to walk and vomiting, he found his way to a nearby orange grove where local workers took him to a hospital in the Belizean capital, Belmopan.

Even after treatment started, the news from doctors was not good for Parker's brother and another close friend who had made it to the hospital to be with him. Staff counted over 150 stings just behind one ear.

"They told them to say goodbye, that I wasn't going to make it through the night ... I had these terrible waves of pain," Parker said.

Amazingly the climber did pull through, having used up all the antihistamine in the hospital. He also spent time on dialysis after his kidneys failed.

"My parents flew right down ... they called an ambulance and had me moved to Belize City," Parker said. From there it was back to Houston Methodist Hospital.

Now, almost three months later, Parker is fully recovered, but with a new outlook on life.

"I became really emotional after, a real softie, I'm just happy to be alive, I cry at everything," Parker said.

The climber plans to tell his story in full in next month's Rock and Ice magazine.

Houston Chronicle