May 20, 2014 at 9:22 AM ET
For nearly a week last month, Kristin Hopkins was trapped upside down in the wreckage of a car crash in the mountains of Colorado, trying to remain optimistic that someone would find her.
Hopkins' wrecked car was eventually spotted by Andy Lombard and his wife, Hope, as they were driving by on May 4.
"They're my angels,'' Hopkins told Miguel Almaguer on TODAY Tuesday.
The couple climbed down the embankment and found Hopkins still alive. She was rescued, but doctors had to amputate both of her feet.
Investigators believe Hopkins' car skidded off a highway outside Denver on April 27 and went airborne for 120 feet before rolling another 200 feet and landing on its roof, pinned against the trees.
"I was upside down, and I had no idea where I was,'' she said. "All I could see outside were smashed windows."
Both of her feet were broken and she was bleeding from the neck. While drifting in and out of consciousness, she attempted to extricate herself from the wreckage.
"The only thing I had to eat was one packet of instant oatmeal, and I tried to eat some of that and it was just so dry and I didn't have any water that it just didn't work,'' she said.
She also tried to signal for help by writing messages with a marker on an umbrella that she placed outside the car for anyone nearby to see. She wrote "hurt and bleeding, need doctor," and "Can't get doors open.'' Through it all, Hopkins believed she would make it out alive.
"I never ever thought this was the end,'' she said. "I was honestly optimistic the entire time. It always was, 'OK, I'll be out of here tomorrow, or someone will see it today.' I stuck it out to hope somebody would stop.''
Hopkins will spend the next two months undergoing physical rehabilitation in the hospital before being outfitted for prosthetic legs. She's grateful she made it back to her family.
"My kids will have a mom, you know?'' she said. "They'll be able to grow up with a mom here all the time."