Retired nurse survives five frigid days confined in a car by licking rainwater

01:16 PM Dec 31, 2021 | Team Udayavani |

This is a fantastic place to start if you want to be inspired by a survivor’s story.


People all across the world have been inspired by a retired nurse’s spirit of survival and determination to overcome an impossible circumstance.

On November 18, Lynnell McFarland was killed in a car accident while returning home from a relative’s memorial ceremony.

Her 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse fell on some black ice and overturned. Near Blewett Pass in Washington State, the automobile crashed into a ditch 100 feet from a highway.

Her arm and knee were damaged as a result of the forceful hit. There was no one to aid because the area was deserted.


The 68-year-old was trapped inside the wrecked car for five days in subzero temperatures. To stay hydrated, she prayed and drank rainwater.

MacFarland told The Spokesman-Review that after releasing herself from the seat belt, she landed near the back of her automobile. It was all uphill from there because she had two fractures.

In the car, she had her cellphone, snow boots, and several water bottles. However, due to her upside-down posture following the impact, all of the goods were out of reach.

She couldn’t move much because of the fractures, so she couldn’t even reach for the water bottles.

After hearing from neighbours that her mother hadn’t come home, daughter Amanda McFarland went out on her own to hunt for her.

McFarland’s survival instincts kicked in when she was stranded and hungry, so she utilised her medical knowledge to patch her wounds and take refuge in the backseat with clothes and blankets.

“She understood how long her body could survive. And she understood what she needed to do to keep her body warm,” her daughter told KHQ.

A state Department of Transportation team noticed MacFarland’s destroyed automobile on the sixth day, just 30 minutes after she pleaded she didn’t want to die in a ravine.

She was discovered conscious and showing indications of hypothermia. The 68-year-old was transported to the hospital, where she underwent three surgeries and was treated for weeks.


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