Family of rescued hiker: ‘We never gave up hope’

National

An update on the amazing story of a missing hiker in Hawaii. 

Authorities found Amanda Eller Friday evening, after she spent 17 days stranded in the woods. 

Some of Eller’s family lives in North Carolina. 

They say despite moments of despair, they never gave up hope that she would come home. 

“We are feeling a little blessed. A lot of fear was starting to creep in, but it became really clear that hope and love overcame everything else,” said Micah Ansley. 

Lynn and Micah Ansley say they got a call late Friday night, with the news they’ve been asking for weeks. 

“We feel like we’ve got our miracle.”

Their niece, found alive in the Makawao Forest Reserve after going missing while on a hike May 8.

Searchers combed the island of Maui from air and on the ground looking for the 35-year-old yoga instructor. 

On Friday she was spotted between two waterfalls. 

Her family says she survived off grass, berries, and water – losing 15 pounds. 

Amanda’s mother, Julia Eller, says she’s in surprisingly good shape. 

“I was crying with tears of joy. I’m just so incredibly grateful to have my girl home,” she said. 

Now Amanda is recovering in the hospital. 

“The last 17 days of my life have been the toughest,” Amanda said.

From her hospital room, she sent a message to those who invested time in finding her.

“It just warms my heart, seeing the power of prayer, the power of love when everybody combines their efforts is incredible,” she said. 

“We are so blessed we have such a blessed family because we know that this isn’t always the outcome. We are so grateful and this is something that we will never forget in our lives,” Lynn Ansley said.

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