LAKEWOOD – A mother of four, missing for days and found alive in what seems like impossible circumstances, is speaking out for the first time.
Kristin Hopkins' car had gone off a 120 foot cliff along Highway 285 in Park County. She survived in the wreckage for nearly a week.
She was found Sunday, May 4. Her body temperature when she got to the hospital was just 77 degrees.
Going off the road is what she doesn't remember. Waking up in the car upside down, she does.
"One thing I did, and I don't know why, I tried to turn the car on. I don't know where I was going to go. It was upside down," Hopkins said.
The trauma and physical toll of the crash itself was significant. After Hopkins' car travelled off the highway, it rolled an additional 200 feet before it stopped. Somehow she survived the crash and lived inside her car for six days before two strangers spotted the wreckage and called authorities.
Hopkins had no food or water in her car. She was unconscious when she was found and in critical condition when she arrived at St. Anthony Hospital. Her internal organs were starting to shut down and her feet were crushed in the crash. Doctors had to amputate both feet.
Hopkins does not remember the pain. She remembers feeling the blood on her sweater and on her skin. The Highlands Ranch mom of four kept thinking about picking up her kids.
Somehow she found the strength to scribble messages on an umbrella and shove it out one of the cracked windows. She doesn't remember writing the words: "Hungry, thirsty, need a doctor."
At the hospital, she has vague memories of hearing the nurses and her parents talking. In the days since, they have filled her in on many details. Her parents went to see the car and the location where she was found.
"My mom and dad went to see it and I was like, 'how many angels did I have?' And my mom said, 'you're here for a reason, figure it out!'" she said.
Hopkins admits she cried when she made her first transition from her hospital bed to a wheelchair, but she is vowing to make the most of her "new life."
Her children, Thor, Dane, Juno and Ekko are aged 9-16. They are relieved their mom is going to be OK.
"Mom's still going to be around. Mom is still going to text them, did you do your homework?" she said.
A fundraiser in the Town of Fairplay raised $3,500 for her recovery. The check was presented to her parents Monday evening. The couple who found Hopkins was also there.
There is a Facebook page dedicated to Hopkins' recovery: https://www.facebook.com/kristinhopkinsrecovery.
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