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'I chose life': Rescued hiker Amanda Eller speaks out after missing in forest for 17 days

The 35-year-old survived on berries and fresh water for more than two weeks.
/ Source: TODAY

Amanda Eller, the 35-year-old hiker who went missing two weeks ago in Hawaii, has been found.

The yoga teacher and physical therapist is alive and doing well after being rescued by a helicopter crew on Friday.

"The last 17 days of my life have been the toughest days (of my) life, and it's been a really significant spiritual journey that I was guided on," she said in a Facebook video.

Eller's family, friends and boyfriend, and the millions of people who followed the search for her on Facebook and contributed to a GoFundMe page for her safe return, rejoiced on Friday when her Facebook page was updated with the words "Amanda has been found."

Rescuers Troy Helmer and Javier Cantellops saw Eller waving to them from a creek bed. Eller, who looked sunburned and skinny and was barefoot, having lost her shoes during her ordeal, was able to walk and speak.

Eller's father said he believed that his daughter had the physical and mental strength to withstand such a situation. She was taken to the hospital with minor injuries including a fracture on her leg.

"There were times of total fear and loss and wanting to give up, and it did come down to life and death — and I had to choose," Heller said. "And I chose life."