In the winter of 1985, my sister, Drazenka, and I were just teenagers when we were walking from our village in the former Yugoslavia to visit our mom in the nearest town. We were poorly dressed for the harsh weather, wearing only jean jackets with blouses underneath. As it was dark and snowing heavily, we got lost in a canyon. No one knew we were missing as our mom didn’t think we’d attempt the trek in a snowstorm and our dad had assumed we arrived. There were no cell phones then, so we couldn’t tell anyone that we were lost.
After seven days without food or sleep, we decided to recite our last prayer. At this time, we heard a group of hunters nearby and I called out to them. We were rescued later that day and taken to the hospital. Drazenka and I had frostbite and an infection in our lungs. In order to save our lives, doctors had to amputate both of our legs below the knee.
Our story captured media attention and strangers lined up around the hospital to give us their well wishes. The encouragement and positivity from the community helped both Drazenka and me tremendously in our recovery.
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