'Glad to be alive': rescued dog walker Annette Poitras released from hospital
'I tell you, I wasn't getting off that mountain without those dogs, no way, no way, no way'
Annette Poitras was overwhelmed with emotion as she left Royal Columbian Hospital in a wheelchair on Tuesday.
"I'm just so glad to be alive. I'm just so happy. It's hard to describe," she said, as her husband Marcel Poitras was at her side.
The 56-year-old dog walker was found by search and rescue teams on Wednesday morning after a massive three-day search. She had spent two nights in the rain-drenched wilderness with three dogs before being found Nov. 22 on Coquitlam's Burke Mountain.
Watch Poitras talk to reporters, as she leaves the hospital:
Poitras explained that she had slipped while trying to step over a log and was knocked unconscious.
"I didn't have a phone, I lost it. I lost my gloves. I don't know how long I was out for, but I knew it was getting dark," she said.
"I tell you, I wasn't getting off that mountain without those dogs. No way, no way, no way," she said.
One of the dogs, Chloe, was at her side on Tuesday as she was leaving the hospital. Poitras said that Chloe had kept guard and stayed by her side throughout those treacherous days in the forest.
Another dog, Roxy, she credits with saving her life by alerting the rescuers.
"She was barking and barking," she said. The third dog, Bubba,an older puggle,wandered away during the first night but was found the following day and before Poitras's rescue.
"I couldn't call, I was too weak. I saw the helicopter over and over again and if I stayed one more night ... I didn't think I was going to make it if they couldn't find me."
Poitras thanked all the first responders, search and rescuer members and those in community for their help and for the flood of donations that came pouring in after she was rescued.
Poitras still has bruising on the left side of her body from the fall and is using a walker.
As for the dogs, they're all doing well and have been checked by a veterinarian. Despite the ordeal, Poitras said she won't give up dog walking
"That's my life, I love them, I love them, I just love dogs."
She said the first thing she wants to do when she gets home is eat some ice cream.
"And just be thankful I'm here."