Amanda Eller thanked all the volunteers who had worked for 17 days to help find her after she went missing during a walk in a Maui jungle.
& # 39; You are the heroes & # 39 ;, Eller, who is currently recovering in a wheelchair, told her rescuers. & # 39; I'm not the hero, I'm just the girl sitting here and healing my ankles. & # 39;
Eller, 35, was missing in Makawao Forest Reserve on May 8 after walking without her cell phone. A helicopter saw her near a waterfall on Friday.
The yoga instructor could not hold back the tears when she embraced the people who worked tirelessly to save her life.
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Amanda Eller thanked all the volunteers who had worked for 17 days to help find her after she went missing during a walk in a Maui jungle
The yoga instructor couldn't hold back the tears when she embraced the people who worked tirelessly to save her life
& # 39; I am so blessed for every breath I take & # 39 ;, she told them. & # 39; I have never experienced anything like this where the community shows up with so much madness and passion. These guys wouldn't give up on me, thank goodness! & # 39;
Eller's friend Javier Cantellops was in the helicopter when he saw her wave at him near the Kailua reservoir.
Cantellops said the helicopter only had five minutes of fuel left before returning to the heliport when Eller suddenly came into the picture.
& # 39; That moment will live forever in the depth of my soul & # 39 ;, he told the Today show on Tuesday.
& # 39; We come across this waterfall and I look down and it appears from the forest. It can only be described as magic. & # 39;
& # 39; You are the heroes & # 39 ;, Eller, who is currently recovering in a wheelchair, told her rescuers. & # 39; I'm not the hero, I'm just the girl sitting here and healing my ankles & # 39;
Eller took the time to talk to anyone who had been looking for her for more than two weeks
She happily smiled for photos with her friends while celebrating her wonderful return
& # 39; After 17 days of pushing and searching and miles and miles and hundreds of man hours and so many people who came out to volunteer … it was absolutely magic. It was the greatest moment of my life. & # 39;
Cantellops also revealed that it was Eller's boyfriend, Benjamin Konkol, who said they should search the Kailua reservoir early.
& # 39; I remember thinking: & # 39; Guy, that's far away & # 39;, & # 39; he remembered. & # 39; Then two or three days passed and I remember going to Ben and saying, "You know which man, maybe we should come out and maybe you are absolutely right."
Cantellops said it was & # 39; incredible & # 39; was to see Eller at her party on Monday evening.
& # 39; First, she looked beautiful when she was there, & # 39; he said. & # 39; She was so incredibly gracious to every person who came to her, and simply showed appreciation and love and listening and took all love to herself. & # 39;
& # 39; I am so blessed for every breath I take & # 39 ;, she told them. & # 39; I have never experienced anything like this where the community with so much freakin & # 39; s heart and so much passion shows up & # 39;
Eller's friend Javier Cantellops (pictured with Sarah Haynes, who coordinated the search) sat in the helicopter when he saw her waving at him near the Kailua reservoir
& # 39; She was incredible out there, she was really balanced. It was incredible to see. & # 39;
Haynes, who helped coordinate search efforts for Eller, said she & # 39; spiritually awesome & # 39; even if she is struggling with her recovery.
& # 39; She is going through a very tough process on her legs, where she has to remove the wounds and it is very painful, just like a burn victim, & # 39; Haynes said.
& # 39; Physically she has deteriorated a bit. She left the hospital, now she is in a wheelchair. But it is all part of the healing process, so she is still making progress. & # 39;
Eller, who was just wearing a thin top, a sports bra and a pair of yoga pants when she was lost, was found about 4 miles from where she had left her car.
Cantellops said the helicopter only had five minutes of fuel left before returning to the heliport when Eller suddenly came into the picture. They are pictured here during the rescue
& # 39; That moment will live forever in the depth of my soul & # 39 ;, Cantellops said (pictured with Eller calling her parents after they were saved)
When the rescuers found her, Eller suffered severe sunburn, a broken leg after falling 20 feet off a cliff, and wound herself at her feet after losing her shoes and socks during a flood.
The yoga instructor managed to survive by sleeping in a bear's den and eating moths, wild berries and guava.
Haynes revealed that Eller had reached her extreme point when she decided to rest at the waterfall.
& # 39; She had resigned herself to talking to the universe and saying: & # 39; Hey look, I really don't want to go, but if this is my highest goal for some reason, I accept it. But I really hope you allow me to have a higher purpose with this story and my situation, "said Haynes.
Eller went missing on May 8 after leaving her phone on a walk on the Makawao Forest Reserve trail in Maui. She was found about four miles away from where she had left her car
Eller was pulled out of the forest with the help of the helicopter and then taken to the Maui hospital to be treated. She had sustained serious wounds after losing her shoes and sustaining a broken leg
Helicopters seek an eye contact with Eller after seeing her in a stream bed and video of the scene showing that they have all been brought to safety
& # 39; And then (the helicopter) flew over. She was alone in that area for a day and a half. & # 39;
Eller, originally from Maryland, works as a physical therapist and yoga teacher. She lives and practices in Haiku
Eller was released from the hospital on Sunday.
When she spoke from her hospital bed on Saturday, where she continues to recover, Eller said: & I wanted to give up. But the only option I had was life or death. & # 39;
Eller planned to take a short walk, but at a certain point left the path to rest. When she went on walking, she no longer had an eye.
& # 39; I wanted to go back the way I had, but my feeling led me in a different way – and I have a very strong sense of instinct, & # 39; said Eller. & # 39; So, I said, my car is like this and I just keep going until I reach it. & # 39;
She said she kept trying to get back to her car but eventually went deeper into the jungle.
& # 39; I heard this voice that said, "If you want to live, keep going," she said. & # 39; I started to become so thin that I really started to doubt if I could survive. & # 39;
Eller, pictured in the hospital with her friend Benjamin Konkol, appeared to be suffering from severe sunburn, a broken leg after falling off a cliff, and wound herself at her feet after she lost her shoes
At the time of her disappearance, Eller had gone for a walk without her phone and was recently seen by her friend Konkol. The pair is pictured together above
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