A cross country runner named Susan O Brien from New Zealand was found Monday and told authorities how she survived lost in rugged wilderness by drinking her own breast milk and burying herself in dirt.
Susan O Brien was taking part in a gruelling 20 kilometre (12.5 mile) run during the Xterra race through Rimutaka Forest Park in a forest south of Wellington on Sunday when she took a wrong turn and became disorientated. The 29-year-old said she was convinced she was going to die during a night of rain and high winds, spending the time praying and thinking of her family.
Dressed in only light running gear, O Brien said she dug a hole in the forest floor and lay in it covered with dirt to keep warm overnight. “I just kept chucking dirt on top of me and every time I heard something I d just scream help ,” she told reporters after a helicopter fitted with heat-detecting sensors found her late Monday morning. “One thing that helped me was I am breastfeeding my baby, so I had a bit of my milk because I thought that would help me keep going for energy.”
O Brien had an emotional reunion with husband Daniel, son Jayden, 2, and eight-month-old daughter Meisha before being taken to hospital for a check-up.
Authorities launched a search operation when Mrs O’Brien failed to reach the finishing line on Sunday morning