“I can’t leave my son without a mom. . .” This one thought kept her going as she hiked 26 miles in the frozen wilderness searching to find help for her stranded family. She couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her husband without a wife. She told herself, I’m not letting my parents bury me. This kind of determination kept her going. This was not how her life was going to end.

Credit: http://www.today.com

Karen Klein, 47, was finally rescued Saturday morning after spending 30 hours in terrible Winter conditions after her family got stranded near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Karen, her husband, Eric, 47, and their son, Isaac, 10, were on vacation in Las Vegas when they decided to take a trip to Bryce Canyon and then to the North Rim. This family, from Easton, PA, was not deterred when they found out that State Route 67 was closed for the winter. They had a GPS and it recommended a shortcut that turned out to be a dangerous forest road.

Their car ended up being stuck in the mud in the midst of blizzard like conditions. They had driven out of cell phone service, so they couldn’t call for help.

“It was decided that there is a main road up ahead, and I have professional and recreational experience, a lifelong (experience) in the outdoors, so I said, ‘I’ll just go, I’ll just walk up to the main road, I can do this, I’m a runner,”’ Karen said.

Klein walked into the night and somehow got off course. She ate some aspen twigs and worked hard to stay awake. At about 1:30am, she had already walked 26 miles. She sat and talked to herself and rocked back and forth to stay warm.

While she hiked in one direction, her husband went about 15 miles in another direction. Eventually he was able to get cell phone service and dial 911 for help. Eric and Isaac were rescued Friday morning. Karen was still out there battling frostbite. But she had managed to break a window and get inside an empty park ranger station.

Klein was finally found by rescuers a day later, on a bed unable to stand. She had frostbite in her toes and fingers. Karen was airlifted to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. She is recovering.

Within hours of her rescue, a major storm hit the same area that would have made it impossible to find and rescue her. Dr. Mark Toth, one of the physicians caring for her said, “I think Karen is a really brave woman who did the most she could to help her family.”

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