Stranded Hiker Makes Speedy Recovery

By Lori Preuitt
|  Sunday, Dec 5, 2010  |  Updated 9:30 PM PDT
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Stranded Hiker Makes Speedy Recovery

Debra Collins fell and then became trapped in a Felton park for nearly a week.

A Santa Cruz area woman appeared to be making a speedy recovery after being stranded for nearly a week in Henry Cowell State Park.  Debra Collins, who turned 58 Sunday, was rescued Saturday morning. The rescue took five hours because of the rugged terrain in the Felton Empire area. 

The Mercury News talked to a friend who said Collins suffered frostbite on her toes and an injury to her ankle after falling during a hike early last week.  She reportedly spent the first night under some trees before become immobile.  When she was found, she could barely move her legs and had to be carried out.

 She spent six nights out in the cold without any food.  She said she drank water from a creek.

She might not have been found if not for Felton resident Joachim Deguara and his Dylan, who is seven years old.  The two went looking for Collins after hearing that she was missing.

Joachim Deguara told KSBW in Salinas Collins was found by chance.

"(I said) why don't we go look in an area she might be in and we might get lucky," Joachim Deguara said.

Collins remained in the hospital Sunday and could be released as early as Monday, according to the Merc.

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