Heather Conrad-Smith is now recovering and credits her daughters for saving her life. "It still blows me away my two girls saved my life," Conrad-Smith told KEPR of the harrowing rescue. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here today."
It was supposed to be an effortless nature hike while on a family vacation, so the former nurse, who has asthma, decided not to bring her inhaler. She thought the pace of the hike would be easy, especially with her two young daughters, Ashleigh and Kelianne, in tow.
But on the way back from their 10-mile loop, Conrad-Smith found herself short of breath. Her husband, Steve, carried her but knew he couldn't get her the help she desperately needed in time. Suffering from respiratory failure, which limits oxygen passing from the lungs to the bloodstream, she needed help fast, so Conrad-Smith instructed her daughters to continue ahead on the trail and run for help.
With their family dog leading the way, the two girls swiftly guided each other over fallen trees and rocks, mindful of the nearby cliff with a lake below them. "We had to walk on the rocks and I went superquick, and I didn't even fall," Kelianne told a KEPR reporter.
After running for 2 miles, Kelianne and Ashleigh spotted a ranger, who called for help. Firefighters quickly rescued Heather, thanks to precise location details from Conrad-Smith's daughters.
Image: Child hiking on fallen tree, via Shutterstock