Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Pair to 'pay forward' kindness

Carolyn and Rachel Lloyd at the track summit in the Tararua Forest Park before they became lost and, below, the sign that led rescuers to them. Photo / Supplied
Carolyn and Rachel Lloyd at the track summit in the Tararua Forest Park before they became lost and, below, the sign that led rescuers to them. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand gave Carolyn and Rachel Lloyd a future. Now, the grateful mother and daughter want to use their futures to help ours.

The United States pair captured hearts on both sides of the Pacific when they emerged alive and largely unscathed after four nights in the bush. They had embarked on a day trek in the Tararua Forest Park near Waikanae, but got lost.

On Friday, five days after they were found by rescuers, Rachel was released from Wellington Hospital.

The 22-year-old, who is in New Zealand on a student exchange at Massey University, has returned to Palmerston North and her 47-year-old mother, who was not injured, is likely to begin her journey home to the United States today.

They remained overwhelmingly grateful to those who helped them, including Wellington Hospital, Massey University and US Embassy staff, and the search and rescue teams who plucked them from their life-threatening predicament.

They were already thinking about how to "pay it forward".

"I'm hoping to do some awareness work with search and rescue," Rachel said. "I think they're doing such a great job and I want to give something back. I want to pay it forward, although I'll never be able to completely repay the people who saved my life."

Her mother felt the same, but that was no surprise, Rachel said.

"She has spent her life serving others. I'm a little biased, though - she just saved my life and has been the best mom in the world for the last 22 years."

One way to help would be to raise awareness of New Zealand track markers, especially for overseas visitors, she said.

The duo became lost after following blue discs, which they believed were track markers, but which were for possum tracking.

She said she felt great mentally but it would be some time before she would be able to return to the bush.

"I'm happy to be alive, happy to have the best mom in the world, happy that she's going to be hugged again by her husband. I have everything in the world to be thankful for."

A help sign made by missing trampers Rachel Lloyd (22) a student at Massey University and her mother Carolyn Lloyd (45) from the United States. Photo / Supplied
A help sign made by missing trampers Rachel Lloyd (22) a student at Massey University and her mother Carolyn Lloyd (45) from the United States. Photo / Supplied

- Herald on Sunday

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