Grandmother, 72, Rescued Following 9 Days in the Wilderness After Writing 'Help' in Sticks
An Arizona grandmother is safe this week after a harrowing journey through the wilderness that found her drinking pond water and eating wild plants while clinging to life.
Ann Rodgers, 72, was rescued from the White Mountains in the eastern part of the state earlier this month after she survived the elements for nine days.
And her rescue came all thanks to a few sticks.
Ann Rodgers, 72, was rescued from the White Mountains in the eastern part of Arizona after writing 'HELP' in sticks on the ground
Rodgers, who was on her way from Tucson to see her grandkids in Phoenix, was finally found after rescuers found the word "HELP" she spelled out in sticks on the ground.
The trouble began March 31st when Rodgers ran out of gas and depleted the charge in her hybrid vehicle, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a release.
She became disoriented and attempted to climb several ridge lines in an attempt to establish cell phone service to call for help.
Instead, Rodgers and her dog survived in the wilderness for over a week drinking pond water and eating plants after running out of what little supplies she later told authorities she had in her car.
In a note, dated April 3rd, Rodgers indicated she was out of food and water and was proceeding down a canyon
Rodgers' vehicle was discovered on April 3 on the side of a remote road, setting off an exhaustive two-day aerial and ground search.
A break finally came for searchers on Saturday, when a White River Tribal Game and Fish officer found Rodgers' dog.
An aerial search began once again, which is when the aircraft crew spotted a distress signal spelling “HELP” made out of sticks and rocks on a canyon floor.
A hand written message was then discovered under a rock of the "HELP" message. In the message, dated April 3rd, Rodgers indicated she was out of food and water and was proceeding down the canyon.
Rodgers was en route to see her grandkids when her car ran out of gas March 31.
As rescuers continued the search in the canyon, Rodgers was located standing next to a signal fire and waving to the helicopter.
When the helicopter landed to rescue her, Rodgers sat down and cried.
Rodgers was suffering from exposure, but was in fair condition and able to walk to and board the helicopter with little assistance, the Department of Public Safety reported.
She was transported by helicopter to a hospital for treatment and soon released.