Maui yoga instructor who vanished weeks ago has been found

Amanda Eller

Enlarge Image Amanda Eller

A 35-year-old Maryland woman who went missing after going on a hike in Hawaii over two weeks ago has been found alive.

Thanks to more than $70,000 raised in donations, loved ones of Amanda Eller were able to charter a helicopter, which ultimately helped find her.

It's unknown how or to what extent Eller was injured, or how she survived until she was found. Friends on social media say Eller got by on a combination of guava, berries and water.

"The last 17 days of my life have been the toughest days of my life and it's been a really significant spiritual journey", Eller said from her hospital bed in a tearful video posted Saturday on the "Find Amanda" Facebook page created after her disappearance on May 8.

Eller suffered a leg fracture, severe sunburn, swelling and abrasions to her legs. The photo shows Eller surrounded by Cantellops, Berquist and Helmers.

"Elated. Excited. Ecstatic", Julia Eller, Amanda's mother, told CBS affiliate KGMB. "I'm so incredible grateful".

It had been 17 days since anyone had seen Amanda Eller.

She hadn't brought her phone, Julia Eller said as she recounted what her daughter has told her about the ordeal, and she was lost in the woods where, as mom said, "Everything looks the same". It is believed she went for a jog.

Friends and family of Amanda Eller posted an announcement in the late afternoon on May 24 saying that she had been found.

A photo was posted to a Facebook page tracking the search, showing a smiling Eller with what appeared to be injuries to her face and dirt on her clothing.

"She lost quite a bit of weight, as you can imagine, being lost for that amount of time", Eller said, Maui News reported.

Amanda Eller, 35, went hiking in Maui's Makawao Forest Reserve on May 8 but became lost when she walked deeper in the reserve, which covers more than 2,000 acres, instead of heading back to her vehicle as she believed. "I was like, 'Oh my God, ' and I just broke down and started bawling". She even slept in pig beds to keep warm during the nights.

Eller reportedly fractured her leg and tore her meniscus on the third day as rescue efforts ramped up in the jungle thick with creeks, ravines and brush.

Amanda is being treated at Maui Memorial Hospital.

"This was all about us coming together for like a greater objective of community and love and appreciation for life", said Eller in the video. They had come before, several times and she had waved as best she could, but they flew away. She even ate a couple of moths, Julia Eller said.

"She's a trouper, man; she's a real warrior", her mom said.

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