An Arizona woman’s resourcefulness is likely the main reason she’s still alive today.
Ann Rodgers, 72, was recently rescued from the state’s White Mountains after being stranded for nine days, NBC News reported. Rescue workers in a helicopter found Rodgers, and her dog, Queenie, after her message of “HELP” written in rocks and sticks led them to a signal fire she had created.
“The probabilities of finding her alive were really low,” Gila County Sheriff’s Detective Johnny Holmes told The Guardian. “It’s a miracle on its own that she’s still here given she was out there that many days.”
Rodgers and her dog survived by drinking pond water and eating plants she knew were safe to consume, NBC News reported. She was transported to the hospital upon rescue only to be released several hours later.
Rodgers, who went missing March 31, said she felt like “a survivor” after the traumatic experience, but NBC News said she also had moments of uncertainty. She reportedly pondered the possibility of dying in the wilderness, concluding: “All right, if this is the end — if this is it — at least I’m going to die in the most natural, beautiful cathedral I have been in in a long time.”
“And then I thought, ‘No, I ain’t giving up yet,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers went missing after she ran out of gas on a remote back-country road and became disoriented, NBC reported. Officials said she became lost while looking for help. Rodgers was driving to Phoenix to see her grandchildren. When asked if she still planned to visit her grandchildren, NBC reported Rodgers said, “You better damn well believe it.”