A Pennsylvania woman ate twigs and drank her own urine during a snowy 26-mile hike in Arizona while searching for help for her stranded family.
According to the NY Post, community college professor Karen Klein was on vacation with her husband and 10-year-old son when their rental car got stuck in a ditch in a remote area near the Grand Canyon on December 22.
Klein reportedly figured she had the best chance of finding help if she went out into the wilderness, since running marathons and competing in triathlons kept her in great shape.
With just a parka, knit hat, and hiking boots to keep her warm, Klein trudged nearly 30 miles in about 24 hours in search of help for her family.
After running out of food and water, Klein's twin sister told a local newspaper that she survived on sticks and her own urine. (Snow would have given her hypothermia.)
Klein hallucinated and pulled a muscle during her trip, but eventually she found an abandoned cabin at the entrance to a national park on Friday evening, The Morning Call reported. She curled on the shelter's bed until she was found by rescuers about six hours later — just as a storm was rolling through the area.
"This is a Christmas miracle," said Jim Driscoll, a local sheriff's deputy, in an interview with the Associated Press.
"We were really beginning to think, especially with the snow coming in … we pulled out all the stops."
Eric Klein, Karen's 47-year-old husband, and their son, Isaac, had slept in their car Thursday night and fortunately found help sometime on Friday after Eric hiked to higher ground and got cellphone service.
Eric and Isaac were both treated for frostbite at a Utah hospital and were later released. Karen was in stable condition at a different hospital and was being treated for severe hand wounds, her sister said.
Despite her injuries, Klein's got plenty of reason to celebrate: After surviving her near-death experience, she turned 47 on New Year's Eve.