“It still blows me away my two girls saved my life. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here today,” said Heather Conrad-Smith.
Heather Conrad-Smith knows gratitude well. What was supposed to be just a nature walk on their family vacation, turned treacherous.
“One side was a cliff that went straight down into the lake,” said Conrad-Smith.
Heather is a former nurse. And although she has asthma, she decided not to bring her inhaler. Thinking the pace would be easygoing with her two young daughters. They were almost done with their ten mile loop, when Heather started having difficulty breathing.
“On the way back, I started getting short of breath,” described Conrad-Smith.
Heather knew she was short on time. Her husband Steve was able to carry her, but not quick enough. Heather instructed the girls to run. And run they did. Over two miles until spotting a ranger.
“We had to walk on the rocks and I went super quick, and I didn't even fall,” said Kelianne Smith.
The girls even had to pull each other over fallen trees.
“Because she helped me,” added Kelianne.
All the while, working to not fall over the nearby cliff.
"You having to go around rocks and try not to fall over a cliff when you're climbing over the trees,” said Ashleigh Smith.
Their dog, who they consider a brother, led the whole way. But, they made it. Giving the ranger exact details on where Heather was. Minutes seemed like hours until firefighters were able to reach Heather. Help made it to this mom whose heart is beyond thankful.
“It’s just mind-blowing. I am so blessed to have this family. I don't know any other children that would run that far and go get help,” expressed Heather Conrad-Smith.
Heather is still in recovery.
“They’re my heroes. And I will forever be in debt to them for saving my life,” said Conrad-Smith.
But her smile reveals a renewed inner strength.
Heather has relapsed since her trip to Oregon. Doctors are monitoring her condition. She’s working to improve. She says each day with her daughters is a gift.