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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Christmas Miracle

A Pennsylvania woman survived more than a day in frigid wilderness outside the Grand Canyon last weekend. 

She ate twigs, drank her own urine and walked and walked in a desperate attempt to get help for her family stuck on a snowy road.

Kristen Haase, spoke about her sister's horribly-tasting ordeal in an email to Philly.com. Haase and her sister, Karen Klein, along with her husband Eric and their 10-year-old son Isaac, were driving from Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah to the Grand Canyon National Park's north rim for a winter sightseeing adventure.

Never did Karen think she would end up drinking her own pee just to stay alive. Why she chose urine over snow is a mystery.

As the family drove toward the Grand Canyon, snow began to inundate the road. They realized that they weren't going to make it and turned around in their rental car but got stuck in a ditch. 

Karen decided to trek back to the main road about 10 miles away. Maybe she'd be able to flag someone down or at least get cell phone reception.

Eric, a liberal, stayed in the car because someone had to stay back with Kristen and Isaac, just in case.

But when Karen got to the highway, it was closed due to the snow storm. She spotted a sign for the entrance of a Grand Canyon park that was 14 miles from where she shivered, so she decided to give it a go.

Klein was running out of food and water and began feeling the effects of exposure. That's when she decided to give twigs a try and washed it down with her own urine to stay hydrated. 

She walked almost 30 miles for 30 hours without stopping. Eventually, she came upon an empty cabin and found blankets to try and stay warm.

A search crew was out looking for the family and found Karen and the rest of her family. They were treated for frostbite and released from a local hospital.

Jim Driscoll, chief deputy for Coconino County (GO Coconuts!) called the rescue a "Christmas miracle."

Karen Klein is an assistant biology professor at Northampton Community College and earned a master's degree from East Stroudsburg University. Her sister said that she had wilderness survival training in the past and believes that's what saved her life.

When asked what it was like to drink her own urine, Karen shrugged, and with a twinkle in her eye said, "It's an acquired taste."

Just kidding.

Merry Christmas.