By IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Holly Courtier, the California mother who was lost in a Utah national park for 12 days, was able to survive her ordeal by staying close to a water source as rescuers searched for her, according to her daughter.
Kailey Chambers released a statement Monday revealing new details about how her mother went missing in Zion National Park. Courtier, 38, had lost her job and was traveling the country to visit national parks, according to her family.
She was dropped off at the park on Oct. 6 by a shuttle bus but wasn’t at the pickup location later in the day. Chambers said her mother injured her head on a tree while she was exploring the park.
“She was very disoriented as a result and thankfully ended up near a water source — a river bed. She thought her best chance of survival was to stay next to a water source,” Chambers said in a statement.
Courtier was only able to take one or two steps before collapsing, according to her daughter, so she was unable to seek help.
“She told me she was so dehydrated, she couldn’t open her mouth,” Chambers said.
On Sunday, park rangers found Courtier safe after receiving a tip from a park visitor who had spotted her.
Chambers was then reunited with her family.
Jillian Courtier-Oliver, one of Courtier’s four sisters, told ABC News’ Good Morning America that her sister had lost substantial weight and had “bruises all over her body.”
Chambers said her mother is regaining strength.
“She has been getting fluids because she was extremely dehydrated, and we are slowly introducing foods. Her health remains our top priority,” she said.
She also thanked everyone from around the world who supported the family during their ordeal.
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