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Chelsea mother stranded in the woods meets her rescuers

Lisa Holman meets Monday with search volunteers who helped rescue her. 500 volunteers showed up Sunday to help in the search. Some had to be turned away. (abc3340.com)

Lisa Holman spent Monday morning at times crying in her hospital bed. Her sister, Kathy Holman Caufield said it was one of the best moments of the last three days,

"Every post that's come through she wants to read. She can't respond to them all but she reads them and she just sits there and cries but it's happy tears and its tears that she knows she's loved and she knows she was looked for."

Holman got to personally thank some of the first responders and volunteers who helped in her search. As many as 500 volunteers showed up Sunday to help in the search. It is the only time Pelham Police Chief Larry Palmer remembers he's had to turn people away from a search effort.

Holman's car crashed Friday night after she lost control on County Road 36 near Bent Creek Drive. She suffered a broken clavicle, six cracked ribs, fractured vertebrate, and a lacerated spleen according to Caufield. The 45-year-old mother was expected to make a full recovery.

Pelham Police said Monday it was unclear how long Holman was unconscious but she eventually was able to climb out of the car, which she feared may catch fire. Holman left behind her purse with her cell phone inside to seek help according to Caufield and police. She ended up in the woods where authorities were at first unable to find her.

"She's not a real outdoorsy person so I wondered if she would be scared of coyotes or snakes or anything like that but she was not. She said it never crossed her mind. She said oddly enough time passed pretty quickly out there," said Caufield, who was the first person to find her sister's car the night it crashed.

Caufield said questions began to fill her head. Was her sister already taken to a hospital or was she abducted? "Horrible, nightmare, anxiety that is unspeakable. Spirit crushed, no hope but then you hear the news that she's found and that she's alive and it's just answered prayers. It was overflowing with joy."

It turns out Holman's determination to stay alive also made her harder to find. She told police she climbed under rocks to avoid the rain.. It also hid her from the infrared drone searching for her.

Caufield said Pelham Police Cpt. Davy Lott reassured her throughout the ordeal, "He would say, 'Kathy she's in those woods and we're going to find her and I believed him and he was right.'"

It was Lott who called some of Holman's family to tell them she had been found alive. "It was awesome. You're in there high-fiving each other because you know a lot of times thing don't turn out well but this one certainly did."


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