I really thought there was no way that Amanda Eller was going to be found alive. She is an inspiration for much more than surviving alone in the forest fighting the elements. No excuses for not keeping on.
Hundreds of volunteers who aided the grim search and sensational rescue of Amanda Eller will celebrate Monday at a barbecue bash promoted by the "Findamanda" Facebook page.The party reflects the relief and joy being expressed by friends and family of Eller, a physical therapist and yoga instructor who walked into a Hawaiian forest on May 8 and was not seen again for more than two weeks.
Eller, 35, survived on wild fruit, water, grit and determination. On Friday, searchers in a helicopter spotted her near a creek bed, and she was airlifted to safety about two hours later. Eller suffered a leg fracture and abrasions, was sunburned and hungry but was otherwise in good shape, her family said.Eller, from her hospital bed, thanked the hundreds of volunteers who conducted exhaustive searches. She said her 17 days in Maui's Makawao Forest Reserve were the most difficult of her life.
"There were times of total fear and loss and wanting to give up," she said in video posted on Facebook. "It did come down to life and death and I had to choose. I chose life – I wasn't going to take the easy way out."