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New Zealand Mother Drank Her Own Breast Milk To 'Keep Me Going' After Being Lost In Forest For 24 Hours

11/05/2015 15:10 BST | Updated 11/05/2015 15:59 BST

A New Zealand woman who became lost in a forest for 24 hours during a running race drank her own breast milk "to keep me going" and heaped dirt over herself to keep warm.

Susan O'Brien took a wrong turn during the Xterra race through Wellington's Rimutaka Forest Park and a search and rescue operation was launched after she failed to reach the finish line on Sunday morning.

The 29-year-old, who was airlifted out of the forest about 11.30am local time Monday, told reporters she "definitely thought I was going to die". Thoughts of her baby, her son and family kept her going, she said.

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Susan O'Brien, seen above with her family after being rescued, drank her own breast milk after getting lost during a running race in a forest in Wellington, New Zealand

Despite having two litres of water with her, gel packs and an energy bar, the mother-of-two said she also drank her own breast milk to sustain her through the cold night.

She told the Dominion Post: "I'm breast-feeding my baby so I had a bit of my milk, which I thought, that should help me keep going."

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Mrs O'Brien was reunited with her family after being rescued, and her first duty was to feed eight-month-old daughter, Meisha

Mrs O'Brien, a fitness trainer, said she got very cold and wet as night descended, so dug a hole in the forest floor and lay in it. She then blanketed herself in dirt to keep warm.

She said: "I didn't have a life blanket so I thought I was going to die. I was just so cold".

She added: "I just kept chucking dirt on myself and every time I heard something I kept screaming 'help'."

Mrs O'Brien's first duty after emerging from the forest was to feed her eight-month-old daughter, Meisha, who she was united with, along with son Jayden, and her family in a tearful scene.

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