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“I did not want to die this way”

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Elyite, 85, survives four-day ordeal alone, injured and trapped at home

by Tom Coombe

Georgiann Ahlstrand feared the worst, and for good reason.

Injured with a broken foot, stuck in her basement without food and water and unable to reach help, the 85-year-old Elyite was in danger of losing her life.

Finally, after four excruciating nights, Ahlstrand was rescued on Jan. 30.

Hospitalized for weeks and now recovering at a Chisholm nursing facility, Ahlstrand is sharing the memories of her ordeal - in her own words - inside this week’s Echo.

Jerry Maki, Ahlstrand’s nephew, said this week that his aunt has said repeatedly that “I need to get my story out,” since the incident.

“Her lesson, was she said when you see all those commercials with the lady saying ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,’ she wants people to realize that you could be that person,” said Maki. “She wants people to realize you should check on an older person, that older people should have constant contact, that this could happen to you.”

After spending time baking with a daughter and granddaughter, Ahlstrand fell and banged her head in the bathroom at her Ely home.

She also suffered a broken foot, and the pain prevented her from being able to get out of her basement, where she was without a cell phone.

It led to an ordeal where Ahlstrand was laying on a cold basement floor and became increasingly week and even suffered hallucinations before her rescue.

The foot injury was so severe that amputation was discussed but ultimately was not necessary.

Ahlstrand has made considerable progress in the last two months and she wrote “it definitely was a miracle that I was saved.”

Her nephew agrees.

“I was looking how long people can live without water and food, and I’m convinced that if she hadn’t had help that day she would be gone,” said Maki.

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