Hiker lost in Hawaii forest is found alive after 17 days, has a heartwarming message to her rescuers

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Credit: Facebook/findamanda (L), NBC News (R)

35-year-old Amanda Eller was found injured in the Makawao Forest Reserve on Friday after going missing on May 8. She was found alive two weeks later sustaining injuries and a stronger will to live.

Eller, a physical therapist and also a yoga instructor, was on her occasional short trail walk in the forest before she decided to take a quick rest. Waking up, she found herself not knowing the traces of her path.

Credit: Facebook/Findamanda

“The whole time I was going deeper into the jungle, even though I thought I was going back where I came from,” she told the New York Times.

To survive, Eller would cover herself in ferns, even sleeping in the mud and even a wild boar’s den at night to keep warm and ate whatever she could find.

Credit: Javier Cantellops

The rescue mission also sparked a search consisting of hundreds of people including the Maui community of Hawaii who is well versed of the routes in the forest.

When the search through the thickly wooded 1.5-mile radius around Eller’s car leads them nowhere, search coordinator, Javier Cantellops told New York Times that they decided to go further about seven miles by air instead (that’s equivalent to 30 miles of walking in the thick forest).

“We all did a double-take,” said Cantellops (pictured most left). “We found her is an extremely treacherous area.”

Credit: Javier Cantellops

She was found near a stream deep into the forest.

Credit: Javier Cantellops

She was then airlifted to an airport and sent to a hospital for treatment.

Credit: Javier Cantellops

It was the toughest seventeen days of Eller’s life and also a significant “spiritual journey” for her. There were many times where she wanted to give up but she chose life over death and kept going.

Eller was also overwhelmed upon learning that volunteers went through a similar ordeal to get her out alive.

Credit: Javier Cantellops

Eller also conveyed a message of gratitude while recovering in the hospital.

“I have the most gratitude and respect and appreciation — I can’t even put it into words for the people that have helped me – for the people that have prayed for me, for the people who were at base camp, for the people all over the world that somehow just wanted to be a part of this for the greater good outside of themselves.”

Credit: Sarah Haynes

Here’s the emotional video from Eller describing her ordeal and thanking her rescuers for not giving up on her.

From the hospital, Amanda’s Message of Appreciation and Love to all of you. Press you may use this video (sarah haynes writing this i filmed and giving you rites now). This will be the only statement given by Amanda for a few days while she recovers. Her date and time of hospital release is unknown. She is so incredibly grateful for the coverage that you have given this and how you have played a huge part in getting her home.

Posted by Findamanda on Saturday, May 25, 2019

Credit: New York TimesFox News / UNILAD

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