Local News

North Carolina mother lost in New Zealand wilderness relied on faith for survival

Posted May 11, 2016

— A North Carolina mother and daughter were lost in New Zealand’s Bush County for five days, but lived to tell about it.

Carolyn Lloyd was visiting her daughter, Rachel Lloyd, a North Carolina State University graduate who was studying abroad. The mother/daughter adventure was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, but didn’t turn out as they imagined when a day of hiking turned into a five day life and death struggle for the pair.

“That’s all you think about, doing all you can to keep your daughter alive and keep going,” Carolyn Lloyd said.

Carolyn Lloyd was back home in Charlotte with her husband, Barry, Wednesday and, with the help of time and distance, was able to reflect on what she and her daughter went through. She said they got turned around by mistakenly following markers for tracking animals instead of the hiking path.

“The ground would fall away. We’d think we’d have a decent log to grab, but it would be rotted and fall away. Stones would fall away,” she said.

Carolyn Lloyd said things got even bleaker when Rachel Lloyd fell, hit her head and couldn’t walk. She had to carry her daughter, at which point Carolyn Lloyd said she relied on her faith for strength.

“The entire way I was praying ‘please, Father God, please Lord Jesus, and then thank you Father God,” she said.

Desperate for help but not losing faith or hope, Carolyn Lloyd made a giant help sign out of sticks and branches. A pilot in a search helicopter spotted it and, within minutes, the sound of the approaching helicopter meant the mother and daughter were about to be rescued.

“The best sound I’ve ever heard in my life,” Carolyn Lloyd said.

Barry Lloyd said he is relieved his wife is back home safely and his daughter, who is continuing her studies in New Zealand, is ok.


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