On May 8, 2019, Amanda Eller — a self-described wonderluster — set out for a three-mile trail walk through Hawaii’s beautiful and lush Makawao Forest Reserve.
During her hike, the 35-year-old physical therapist and yoga instructor took a rest off the path but got lost when she resumed. She tried to find her parked car, but only got more disoriented.
Amanda lost her way and wandered deeper into the forest and its 2,093 acres of incredibly thick vegetation.
Her story took an even more terrifying turn when she tumbled off a cliff, fracturing her leg and injuring her knee. The pain was so bad that she was ultimately forced to crawl her way around the woods, which made it even more difficult to find food.
Amanda was losing so much weight and was becoming so malnourished that she feared she’d die before anyone found her.
Days passed. Weeks passed.
Meanwhile, hundreds of volunteers were on a frantic search to find Amanda. They found her Toyota RAV4 in the parking lot, along with her phone and wallet.
Her desperate parents offered a $10,000 reward and funded a search and rescue helicopter.
In the video below, see how Amanda was miraculously found alive after 17 excruciating days.
“There were times of total fear and loss and wanting to give up, and it did come down to life and death and I had to choose.”
“I chose life.”