PASADENA (CBSLA) — A 73-year-old man has been discharged from a Pasadena Hospital a day after being located in the Angeles National Forest after a 7-day ordeal.
Eugene Jo was released late Saturday from Huntington Hospital. He had gone missing on June 22, after getting separated from his hiking group.
According to rescuers, he managed to stay alive by getting close next to the hot rocks in the area to stay warm at night, and staying hydrated with water in the riverbed.
“He would wrap his jacket around him and the beach towel that he had with him,” said Janet Henderson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Search & Rescue. “He got in close next to the hot rocks because it is very hot up there and those rocks do heat up and that’s how he kept himself warm at night.”
Jo was located around 11 a.m. Saturday near Devil’s Canyon, as there were 11 search teams out there looking for him.
Janet Henderson of the LASD’s Search & Rescue team says that Jo heard the rescuers’ voices and yelled for help.
“He said it took everything he had to roll over his hands and knees and yell for help and that’s when the rescuers heard him,” she said.
Through the ordeal, Jo was not able to find much food, if at all, in the region during the 7-day period. He has since said he no longer plans to go hiking again.
“The fact that he survived this long … it’s amazing,” said Sgt. John Gilbert of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
On Sunday, one of Jo’s daughters, Grace, released the following statement to CBS Los Angeles:
“He’s back home, resting and pretty much his old self. The family thanks everyone for their support, Especially every volunteer who came to help. He didn’t realize that so many people were looking for him and the extent of where they can from all over the state and became emotional when he found out just how many, especially because the first time he heard any human voices was the morning he got rescued. We’re still barely comprehending the extent of this miracle and appreciate privacy at this time.”