The first thing Claire Nelson did after falling and shattering her pelvis on a trek in California was record a message for her friends and family, explaining what had happened to her.
Nelson said she never intended for the recording to become a goodbye message. But if not for her miracle rescue after the life-threatening fall in Joshua Tree National Park, it would have been.
She would not pubicly release the wording of her video message, saying it was too private to share.
In her first extensive interview since defying death, the Kiwi traveller says as she spoke into her phone, in extreme pain and alone under the scorching sun, she couldn't prevent some emotion creeping in.
"It's hard to record something like that without immediately wanting to let people know that you love them," she told the Herald on Sunday.
The 35-year-old, who was based in Toronto, Canada, narrowly escaped death in May when she spent several days alone and seriously injured in the wild.
She lay in a dried out-riverbed for 72 hours, alone and nursing a shattered pelvis after slipping on a boulder stack and falling several metres to the ground.
Nelson was forced to drink her own urine during her horror ordeal in a bid to fight dehydration.
Speaking from her hotel in Toronto, Nelson recalled wondering whether that would be the end.
"I put my foot down on one rock and it just slipped. I immediately started moving - I remember being surprised at how quickly it happened, and there was nothing to hold on to.
"The only thought going through my head was 'no, no, no, no, no'," she said.
It was a "horrible, horrible" moment, Nelson said. She suspected her injuries were serious when tried to sit up, and felt pain shoot through her body.
"I realised: I can't move, I'm on my own, no one really knows that I'm here … I scrambled to get my phone out of my backpack and dial 911 and then there's no service.
"As these factors landed one at a time, they impounded so hard," Nelson said.
Nelson decided to create a voice recording on her phone, in case she didn't make it through.
"I thought, if I don't get out of this - and that was immediately a very real fear of mine - then people need to know what happened."
As reality set in, Nelson said she became very singular-minded.
Being a "good Kiwi" she was armed with decent supplies of sunscreen, she said, though applying it was difficult due to her limited mobility.
She made use of a tramping stick to apply the block to her legs, knowing the mid-morning sun would become harsher as the day wore on.
And then, she waited.
The first low point, Nelson said, came with her first sunset in the desert. She realised she would be spending the night under the stars, with little to protect her from snakes.
"I had a real moment of panic," she said.
"I tried not to, but I was absolutely terrified of lying on the ground, in the desert, in the dark, and not being able to move."
Four long days in the desert followed as she waited to be rescued.
"I actually started to give up the idea that anyone was going to come and look for me," she said.
"By the last day I had become very dehydrated and I was kind of drifting in and out of consciousness."
In an attempt to keep herself sane, Nelson said she did things like clean her nails and rearrange her clothing in attempt to ward off sunburn.
But then on Friday, help arrived.
Friends whom she was house-sitting for became worried when Nelson - an avid Instagram user - went off the grid. They couldn't get in touch with her so contacted search and rescue services.
She would never forget the sound of the helicopter, Nelson said, on the fourth day when they came looking for her.
"I heard the helicopter, and I heard the words saying, 'We're looking for Claire.'"
"I thought I had hallucinated, because I was lying there and I was just so dehydrated I could barely hold my shade up anymore.
"I just draped it over my body."
Her suspicion that the help was all in her imagination, deepened when the buzzing sound of the helicopter faded. But then they came back.
Claire heard her name once again over the helicopter's loud speakers and reality sunk in.
"It was just that feeling of, 'I'm going to be okay now, because someone is looking for me'.
"I was so dehydrated I couldn't cry - but I wanted to."
Nelson said she screamed out to the search and rescue team but they couldn't hear her and didn't initially spot her lying in among the boulders.
She set to work creating a flag of sorts, attaching her T-shirt to two sticks with a hair tie and using it to try to attract the helicopter crew's attention.
"I waved it and waved it, so that when they came back that's what they saw."
The search and rescue crew told Nelson, when they eventually got to her, that they might not have spotted her without the makeshift sign.
The extent of Nelson's injuries meant the search and rescue team could not move her immediately - the crew had to hike out until they found some cell phone reception to call in medical help.
"It was when the paramedics came and moved me that I felt the worst pain of my life," Nelson said.
"They had to move me, with a broken pelvis, and no pain medication."
Once in hospital, Nelson was shocked by the outpouring of concern from her friends and family from all over the world.
"I was lying in the ICU, covered in dirt and I'm in a lot of pain, when a nurse handed me the phone and said, 'Your mum wants to speak to you.'
"I picked up, and said, 'Mum how did you know I was here?'"
Maggie Hickton had had a nightmare of a week.
She had noticed her daughter wasn't active online and by the time she received an international call from Nelson's friend on Friday evening, she knew something was wrong.
"They were in Morocco, I was in New Zealand and Claire was in America. Trying to work out time differences, to figure out how long she had been in the desert for … we figured it was at least three days but it turned out to be four."
Hickton said she was hoping for the best but considering the worst - rattlesnakes and the possibility Claire had come across a "psycho" on the trail crossed her mind.
"It was a very cold Wellington morning when I had to call family and say, 'Look, we think Claire has gone missing.'"
From here it was a waiting game. Hickton said when another call came through on Saturday afternoon, she didn't want to pick up the phone.
"But it was Natalie, Claire's friend, and she just yelled down the phone, 'Maggie, she's alive, she's alive.'"
"It was the most amazing feeling."
Despite the relief that her daughter was okay, Hickton called the aftermath, the struggles with insurance, wheelchairs and medical procedures, "horrendous".
There were plenty of lessons to be learnt for Kiwis travelling overseas, she said, in checking over insurance policies.
Nelson said her struggles with both insurance companies she had policies with were "far from sorted".
She was facing ongoing, and hefty, medical bills.
Nelson wouldn't be walking again until September. Until then she would continue to receive treatment for nerve damage, physical therapy and mental therapy to help her cope with some trauma.
Fundraising efforts to help pay for the Kiwi's recovery were ongoing through her GoFundMe page.
She has coverage with both a US and a Canadian company, but says each company is saying the other should cover the costs.
"I'm paying out of pocket at the moment for most of it, and using the generosity of absolutely incredible people from around the world, who have been donating to my GoFundMe."
Nelson has kept the message she recorded after her fall, and played it back to friends and family.
Looking back at it now, I was prepared for it to be a goodbye message as much as an explanation for what had happened," she said.
"Showing it to my family, there were some tears."