Heather Conrad-Smith’s leisurely stroll down a trail in Oregon with her two daughters Kelianne, 5, and Ashleigh, 7, turned deadly after a sudden asthma attack caused the former nurse to go into respiratory failure. Luckily for Heather, the two miles down a cliff through trees and bushes weren't enough to stop her heroic daughters from finding help for their mother.
“We had to walk on the rocks and I went super quick, and I didn't even fall because she helped me,” Kelianne told KEPR. "You having to go around rocks and try not to fall over a cliff when you're climbing over the trees,” Ashleigh added. Heather is still recovering under the care of doctors in Oregon after a relapse in the days following the harrowing experience, KEPR reported.
Seeing as the family was planning a relaxing nature walk through the Oregon woods, Heather decided against bringing her inhaler. She started to feel short of breath on the way back from the 10-mile loop. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, respiratory failure is condition in which oxygen is not properly transferred from the lung into blood. This can result in an insufficient amount of oxygen-rich blood getting to the body’s major organs, including the heart and brain. Aside from asthma, people affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), pulmonary embolism, cystic fibrosis, and stroke are at risk of respiratory failure.
Although Heather’s husband Steve attempted to carry his wife the rest of the way home, she knew there just wasn’t enough time so she told her daughters to run as fast they could. With the help of the family dog, Kelianne and Ashleigh navigated the dangerous terrain — which included a steep cliff drop-off, slippery rocks, and downed trees — until they found a park ranger who notified local firefighters.
“It still blows me away my two girls saved my life. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here today,” Heather told KEPR. “It’s just mind-blowing. I am so blessed to have this family. I don't know any other children that would run that far and go get help. They’re my heroes. And I will forever be in debt to them for saving my life.”