In the video below, a University of North Texas student shares her incredible survival story after getting lost near the Grand Canyon and desperately fighting to stay alive — it’s a must watch.
Amber VanHecke, 24, was stranded for five days in a remote area within the Havasupai reservation of the Grand Canyon.
She told Fox 10 reporters that her scary adventure all started on March 12 with one “dumb decision” at the Grand Canyon “because gas was $2.70.” She skipped buying fuel and figured to get it somewhere else for cheaper later in the journey.
Shortly thereafter her GPS led her down a road which didn’t exist. “I started driving around saying ‘God, I need to find the road, Please!'” Before VanHecke could find her way back, her car ran out of fuel as the sun was setting.
“I was panicking and crying and sobbing — I was a mess,” said Vanhecke about the moment she first realized she was lost without GPS or cell service.
She made a 10-foot-tall “HELP” sign out of rocks on the ground and began rationing her food and water supply while she waited for help. “I was eating dried nuts, fruits, seeds, and ramen when I cooked it on the dashboard,” said VanHecke.
As days passed, VanHecke documented her terrifying experience with a video diary and left messages for friends and family, reports Fox News.
She told AZFamily that her biggest fear was “hurting my friends and family by dying alone doing something stupid.”
VanHecke said she heard helicopters overhead and saw cars in the distance on a few occasions. “I chased down a truck but they didn’t see me in the rear view. My feet are torn up because I wasn’t wearing shoes,” said the Denton student.
— 3TV Phoenix (@azfamily) March 24, 2017
On day five of being stranded, she decided to walk until she could pick up a cell signal. She said, “I had no signal and no GPS. So I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and hiked a total of 21-22 miles. I had to hike 11 miles east from my car just to get a signal to call 911. Even then, the call dropped after 49 seconds and I had to pray they got enough info to find me.”
Luckily, her call went through to 911 and a DPS helicopter rescued her shortly after. Vanhecke was treated for exposure and dehydration.
Authorities at the Arizona Department of Public Safety claimed she survived because she did everything right. “She did a lot of things that helped her survive,” said Jonah Nieves, a member of the Air Rescue team with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. “Those notes were clues and those clues led us to where she was.”
To help her afford medical expenses, she set up a GoFundMe campaign, which has already reached over $2,200 as of Friday afternoon.
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