• 80-year-old woman survives in ditch for 2 days after lawn-mowing accident


    POUND, Va. - Juanita Mullins, 80, is lucky to be alive after a lawn-mowing accident launched her 50 feet down the side of a hill and left her trapped for two days, surviving on rainwater.

    Package delivery driver Ryan Fleming was working his usual route, dropping off a package at Mullins' home when, "I thought I heard a goat mistakenly. It was her, after realizing."


    Fleming worked off a hunch that something felt off, especially that Mullins' dog was outside the house but she wasn't around.

    "I yelled for Juanita. She yelled, 'Help!' So I knew something was wrong and looked to the left and under the hill. Saw the mower and her beyond it. I found her," Fleming told WCYB.

    Mullins survived both the scorching heat and rain.

    "She was dehydrated pretty bad and bruised up. But, she was still kicking and talking to everybody. I believe there was some divine intervention on that. I don't understand how she made it two and a half days with no water by herself. At her age down there, she's a really, really strong lady," said Capt. Brandon Wallace, of the Pound Police department.

    Mullins is described as strong, but her family members are heartbroken.

    "I can't explain in words how sad it has made me. She was at a point where she had been fatigued, and she was tired. She thinks she made a mistake because she wasn't ready to be mowing," said her granddaughter, Rachel Helton. "Her experience working in the heat and I think her wisdom, being able to scratch around. She talks about things like putting sticks in her ears to keep the flies off; putting sticks together when it did rain to channel the water into her mouth."

    "We give God the glory in this story, but Ryan is a close second," said Sarah Helton, another granddaughter.

    The family also giving their thanks to Pound Rescue, Ballad Health System nurses, doctors and the trauma center.

    Mullins is still weak from the accident but is on track for surgery and recovery.

    Her family said mowing is part of Juanita's everyday routine to keep up with her 100-acre farm and sure enough, Rachel Helton said, "She said she is going to mow again."


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