Doctors say it is an unusual reason for a fall from a balcony.
SAN DIEGO - A UCSD student only suffered minor injuries after falling three stories from a balcony and landing on a neighbor's car.
“I woke up and my face was in the windshield,” said Katie Hosch.
Before midnight two Saturdays ago, Hosch woke up, staring at the cracked windshield and dented hood of a Mazda Miata.
“It was surreal and scary. My head was hurting. My right side was burning,” said Hosch.
That pain gave way to a heart-stopping realization: Hosch fell from her three-story balcony – while asleep.
Feet from the balcony in a Hillcrest apartment complex is the bed Hosch was sleeping in.
The UCSD junior has had a few sleepwalking episodes since high school.
“Once I walked out the front door and had to be corralled by a neighbor,” said Hosch.
On the night of the fall, Hosch recalls a vivid nightmare.
“The ceiling was falling in and someone was trying to get in and chase me,” said Hosch.
Hosch was brought to the emergency room and treated for severe cuts, requiring about 30 stitches.
“Being asleep, your body is looser. The doctor said when you tense up and hit something, you tend to have worse injuries,” said Hosch.,
Hosch heads the UCSD’s triathlon club, and doctors say that the fall was likely helped by the training, which makes a body more resilient.
“I was also told he car itself may also have helped to break the fall, because of the suspension,” said Hosch.
Hosch is now taking precautions, locking the balcony sliding door and inserting a wooden bar to keep it shut.
“I’m terrified it’s going to happen again. It's one of those things I look at and it's like...incredible. I'm so grateful to be alive,” said Hosch.
Sleep psychologist Dr. Charles Freeman says there have been similar claims across the country - people literally acting out their nightmares while sleepwalking.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help pay for the damage to the neighbor's car.