LOVELOCK — The last of the six family members who were rescued after two days in subzero temperatures in Nevada’s wilderness left the hospital Thursday with friends and relatives who still can’t believe they survived the ordeal.
“The fact they are doing so well and don’t have any frost bite, it’s amazing,” Dr. Douglas Vacek said at Pershing General Hospital in Lovelock.
James Glanton, 34, his girlfriend Christina McIntee, 25, two of their children and a niece and nephew of McIntee survived the ordeal that started Sunday by keeping a fire burning next to their overturned jeep in the mountains west of Lovelock, about 100 miles northeast of Reno.
McIntee and her youngest daughter, Chloe Glanton, 3, were discharged Wednesday and the other four including Evan Glanton, 4, Tate McIntee, 4, and Shelby Fitzpatrick, 10, went home on Thursday after doctors determined there were no lingering effects from mild exposure and dehydration.
Jack Oulette, McIntee’s father and the grandfather of all four children, said his grandkids smelled like smoke when he finally got to hug them.
“They were all sooted up,” Oulette told KTVN-TV. “I said, ‘This is the best smell I’ve ever smelled.’”
Glanton burned wood, brush and a spare tire, and heated rocks for warmth throughout the two days. He put the rocks in a pipe and heated them in the fire, then placed them inside the overturned Jeep at night, Oulette said.
“He knew what he was doing. He did a good job,” he said. “I’m proud of him because that’s my grandkids and my daughter.”
Dr. Belinda Murphy-Denmark, the hospital’s chief of staff who knows some of the family members, said the staff was surprised the children all had normal temperatures when rescuers found them Tuesday and transported them to the hospital.
“Usually, families are not as resourceful as this family and they don’t resort to the measures that they did to stay warm,” she said. “I’m ecstatic.”
Hospital CEO Patricia Bianchi read a statement from the family on Wednesday thanking the community and all the law officers, rescue workers and volunteers who helped find them. She said the family still was declining requests for interviews.
“These families are asking for privacy as they heal from their ordeal,” she said.