Mary-Anne Goossens News ConferenceThe Dutch holidaymaker Mary-Anne Goossens is now back in Holland after having gone missing in Nerja for 18 days, and she has told a news conference that she “always believed in a happy ending”.

Her son, daughter and ex-husband began the press conference. Her son talked about his first contact with her after she had been found. A Spanish interpreter called him and gave the phone to his mother when she had just got out of the helicopter, “It was all very emotional” he said.

The family reunion at the hospital in Malaga that evening was special. “It was such a beautiful moment,” said her daughter, “I’ve never experienced such a blissful moment. Hope and love has kept her going and us.”

Mary-Anne looks good. She’s lost 12 pounds from her adventure, but has now put back 5 pounds already.

Talking about her ordeal, she explained that she went out at 10:30am for a walk and had a small bag with her. She had no map, because the route was mapped out – “I thought that afternoon I would be lying on the beach again.”

When she realized she was lost, she remained where she was – “I couldn’t go forward, I dared not return, because there was no water. So I thought I should just sit and listen to what I could hear.”

Mary-Anne had a whistle with her and used it to try and attract attention. Every day during daylight hours she thought she might be found. “And when it was dark, I thought, tomorrow is another chance.”

The first night she was freezing. She solved that the next day by putting grass in her clothes and she made a bed of grass to lie on. She did not eat and only drank water. “The second and third day I realized that I was in trouble. I thought, okay, I must remain calm.”

She didn’t find not eating a problem. “I had gained 10 pounds over the years, so I thought, well I can get rid of.”

After 18 days hoping that she would be found, she heard noises and blew her whistle a few times. Eventually she was found by three people who were out walking “And then I thought well it’s good.”

Mary-Anne Goossens and her family said they are grateful for all the support they have received. “It’s unbelievable and indescribable,” said Mary-Anne.

The family have brought a dog with them back to Holland. “This dog was dropped off at a garbage dump. We have taken him to the Netherlands and called him Nerja as a symbol.”

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