An elderly couple in Michigan found themselves in a desperate situation recently when they got stuck in the mud without food, water, or a working cell phone.
On a Monday morning late last month, Butch and Janice Duncan — who are believed to be from Blanchard — were headed to Mecosta County, Michigan, about a half-hour away. However, the couple took a wrong turn down a dirt road, and as they attempted to find their way back, their truck became stuck.
Butch Duncan left to look for help, and Janice stayed in the truck, waiting for him to return.
“It got dark, and I thought, ‘He should be back here any time now,'” Janice Duncan told WZZM-TV. “And he didn’t come back.”
Janice ending up spending the night in the truck. When Butch, who had left without a cell phone, still hadn’t returned several hours later, Janice became worried. She quickly scribbled a note about her situation and her general location, left the note in the windshield of the truck, and went out looking for her husband.
She found him stuck in some mud without his shoes. She tried to rescue him but ended up falling in herself.
“You can’t walk in. You take one step, and you fall,” said Janice. “I’m trying to get to him, and I kept falling and falling and falling.”
Her cell phone was apparently falling too. At that point, it had become so submerged in the water that it was no longer operational. All they could do was hope, pray, and yell for help.
“I screamed, I screamed, and I screamed to call 911, get us help get us help,” said Janice, “and nobody came.”
The husband and wife, who are both in their 70s, ended up spending two frigid nights in the mud without food or potable drinking water, and both began to fear the worst.
“He was getting real shaky,” recalled Janice. “He’s trying to go to sleep, and I said, ‘Butch, wake up! Don’t go to sleep!’ I told him, ‘I think we’re done. I think we’re going to lay here, and they’re going to find bones someday.'”
However, their prayers were answered Thursday morning. A nearby landowner had discovered the abandoned vehicle, read Janice’s hasty note, and called police. Authorities then conducted a search for the couple, found them in the swamp, and pulled them to safety. They had been out in the elements for nearly three whole days.
“Thank you, God!” Janice recalled saying.
The Duncans were then placed in an ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital in Mount Pleasant, where they remained for few days recovering from dehydration, exposure, and some infections. They are now doing well.
“The ambulance driver told me, he said, ‘If you would have been out there one more day, you’d be dead,'” Janice explained. She warned everyone who hears her story to make sure they always share their whereabouts with friends or loved ones, just in case an emergency arises.
Butch offered other, lighthearted advice: “Don’t get old.”
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