The hero Las Vegas mom who hiked for 30 hours in freezing cold temperatures to save her family stranded in deep snow at the Grand Canyon has revealed her miraculous story of survival.
College professor Karen Klein, her husband Eric and 10-year-old son Isaac set out along a road to visit the Grand Canyon over the Christmas weekend only to find it had been closed by a snowstorm.
Their GPS then re-directed them to a little used road in the forest, where they became stranded in the snow.
“Unfortunately, we got stuck in a ditch,” she told Inside Edition from her hospital bed. “The car went off the road.”
Fortunately, she had recently taken a course in wilderness survival and decided that she would be the one to go for help.
“I've had lots of experience with winter camping, outdoor survival skills and hiking," she said. "I’m a runner. I've done triathlons. I'm in pretty good shape.”
She hiked an amazing 26 miles in 30 hours until she found a cabin where she collapsed in exhaustion.
“I ate pine twigs, young seedling pine twigs as well as putting snow in the sides of my mouth to let that melt,” she said.
She even drank her own urine for hydration, something she said she is not embarrassed to talk about.
“I'm not ashamed to say that. It seems kind of silly. It's one of the ways I learned how to survive,” she told Inside Edition.
When she did not return, her husband hiked to higher ground, where he got a cell phone signal, and called 911.
The family was eventually rescued and Karen is being hailed a hero, with many calling their situation a "Christmas miracle."
“It wasn't about me. It was ‘I can't let my son down, I can’t leave him without a mother,'" she told Inside Edition.
She is currently in a Utah hospital recovering from injuries suffered during her ordeal.