MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. – Gia Fuda, 18, is grateful to be surrounded by loved ones after she found herself lost in a wooded area in Washington State for nine days, NBC affiliate KING-TV reported.
Fuda’s parents say she is doing fine and is recovering from minor scratches and dehydration at a local hospital. She told her parents that she did not realize she was missing for so long, according to the KING-TV report.
According to KING-TV, Fuda was last seen on July 24 when she stopped for a cup of coffee. Later, her car was found abandoned with no gas inside a wooded area along the highway.
With no cellphone reception in the area, the teen survived in the deep woods by drinking water from a creek and eating berries. She spent most of her time walking around and praying.
“She’s like, ‘I’m fine. Nothing’s broken.’ She’s mentally tough and now we’ve found out she’s physically tough,” her parents told KING-TV.
The family told KING-TV that they are grateful for police, search teams, and community members who helped them stay strong as the search went on. For them, they say this would be the best news of 2020.
Fuda had plans for school this upcoming semester, but she will reevaluate her plans once she is 100% recovered, according to KING-TV. For now, her parents are grateful for her safe return home.