The Short of It
A 14-year-old Utah boy amazingly survived nearly 30 hours in the frozen wilderness.
Even Brayden Neilson realizes he "should have been dead" following a hunting trip gone wrong. After getting separated from a 21-year-old friend, the teen walked 11 miles and endured temperatures in the single digits before being found by police.
Neilson told ABC News about his harrowing experience after he was released from the hospital: "I started popping off shots out of my shotgun and probably shot about 25 rounds. I started crying and freaking out."
The boy was found Sunday morning showing signs of hypothermia and hallucinating from exhaustion.
"He was disoriented and confused. Some of the stuff he was saying, wasn't making any sense at all," Lt. Lane Findlay, of the Weber County Sheriff's Office, said.
Neilson had tried calling 911. He phoned his grandfather on a cell phone around 1 a.m. Sunday and said he would be home shortly, but the call got dropped. He also tried calling his grandmother and that call was dropped too. Nine hours later, the boy recalls, "I saw two pairs of headlights. I started walking to them. I think God led me that whole way through, all the way through there, and I think he found me some help."
His mom Shannon says when her son was found, she "was in disbelief because literally they were five minutes away from turning into a body recovery mission." She adds, "My son, to know him, he is a strong-willed, strong-headed young man. If anybody could survive it, it would have probably been him. My other kids probably would not have survived it."
After their terrifying ordeal, the family says they will always carry backup batteries for their phones.