Ex-Nurse Survives Being Trapped In Car For 5 Days Using Medical Skills

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Kevin Harness Contributor
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A Washington woman got into an accident that left her trapped in her car for five days. She was able to survive using skills she learned from being a nurse, according to the Spokesman-Review.

Lynell McFarland, 68, was on her way to Spokane Valley from a memorial service when she struck a patch of black snow causing her car to turn over completely and get lodged in between two trees, the Spokesman-Review reported Tuesday. (RELATED: REPORT: Men Find Naked Fugitive Clinging To Branches Over Crocodile-Infested Swamp, Prisoner Lived Off Snails For 4 Days)

McFarland and her daughter, Amanda McFarland were driving to Spokane Valley when their car broke down. They spent the night at a high school friend of Amanda’s and Amanda took a bus while Lynell waited until the car was fixed and left in the evening, according to the Spokesman-Review.

The sight of the accident was 4o feet away from a cliff, so if it were not for the trees, she would have gone over the cliff. However, she was in a spot where she could not be seen by people or seek help, according to the outlet.

“I knew I was going downhill, when it happened,” McFarland said, the Spokesman-Review reported.  “And I thought I went straight down, but what actually happened was my car went head over heels.”

McFarland suffered from a fractured arm and knee as a result of the crash. She fell towards the back of her car once she freed herself by unbuckling her seatbelt which prevented her from reaching her cellphone, winter boots, and water bottles on the front floorboard, according to the Daily Mail.

The retired nurse used her medical skills to dress her wounds, she used plastic bags, clothes, and blankets to make a shelter to stay warm. She also relied on rainwater to stay hydrated, according to the Daily Mail.

McFarland’s phone kept ringing repeatedly with calls from her daughter and others which made her aware that people were out looking for her, according to the Spokesman-Review.

On the fifth day, McFarland claimed that when she prayed to God, she felt the presence of her parents. “I just said, ‘Dear God, I know I’m going to die someday, but please don’t let it be in this dark, deep ravine, where I’m never found,'” according to the outlet.

The Department of Transportation found her and came to her rescue almost half an hour later. McFarland asked one of the workers for a handful of snow because of how dehydrated she was, the Spokesman-Review reported.

McFarland spent the past several weeks of being treated and recovering from her injuries in Providence St. Joseph Care Center, but she was able to spend Christmas Day with her daughter. “Finding me was a miracle,” she said. “I wouldn’t call it stubbornness. Determination,” according to Spokesman-Review.