PORTLAND, Ore. – Mary Owen never gave up hope.
The 23-year-old woman spent six nights stranded and injured on Mount Hood. A National Guard helicopter spotted her Saturday morning at an elevation of about 4,600 feet.
“I was yelling and screaming and waving,” she said. “I was trying to stand up. I couldn’t really stand up.”
Owen is recovering at a Portland hospital. She suffered frost bite on her toes and a gash on her leg. She said her doctors don’t yet know if they’ll have to amputate any of her toes.
“I’m feeling really well. I actually don’t have a lot of cuts and bruises for all the days I was out there.”
She said she began to question if she would ever be found.
“There were times when I woke up and I was like ‘I kind of want to die. I don’t want to be up here anymore,’” said Owen.
But Owen said on Good Friday, a day that means so much to her, she knew she was coming home. She knew she would bring a new perspective on life, too.
“You can’t just go frolicking out in the wilderness and say, ‘OK, God’s got your back.’ (I was) realizing how much I had taken for granted.
"I’ve been blessed.”
She saw planes fly overhead on Friday. “I thought they had seen me. I was expecting them to come back for me Friday evening.”
When they didn't come back, Owen said she replaced her despair with faith.
“It’s hard to give up hope when there’s so much life inside you.”