Family relieved after finding missing Surry County woman

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SURRY COUNTY, N.C. -- After two long days of searching for his 82-year-old mother who had been missing since Saturday, Ron Ross can finally take a deep breath.

“I’ve never experienced that much anxiety in all my life,” Ross said.

His mother, Joan Atkins, was found alive at the bottom of a hill near Rockford Road Tuesday morning.

She was barely conscious.

“She actually rolled down almost 200 feet,” Ross said.

“She’s bruised from head to toe very much in pain.”

Atkins who has dementia and heart problems went for a walk Saturday afternoon but got lost.

“[She] turned the wrong way and just slipped and rolled head over heels down to the bottom, and she couldn’t move herself for the two days she was down there,” Ross said.

The owner of Rockford General Store spotted Atkins behind his shop around 7 a.m.

“It was obviously divine,” Ross said. “It was God that he found her.”

Surry County EMS crews and more than 100 volunteers combed the area since Sunday.

Five different K-9 teams and a helicopter were also used during the two-day search.

Ross says his mother survived by using leaves to cover up at night and even saw wild animals pass her.

“It’s just a miracle that she would survive that in her state,” he said.

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