A man from Batavia who had been lost on a mountain in Japan for six days has been found.
Mike Blodgett, 35, who lives in Japan with his wife and young daughter, came into trouble when he slipped off a trail and down the side of Mount Omine, which he had been hiking alone.
Blodgett lost his cellphone in the tumble that sent him crashing into a river,
Soaking wet, lost and alone, Blodgett set out to find a way back to safety.
After Blodgett did not return from his trip, his wife, Ikuchan Blodgett, contacted Blodgett's family in Batavia, with the news that he was missing.
Anne Victory, Blodgett's sister, started a Facebook page called "Find Michael Blodgett." To Victory's surprise, tens of thousands of Facebook users in America, Japan and elsewhere shared the page and offered support and help.
Victory said she was contacted by a family living near Mount Omine who offered to house any volunteers who wanted to search for Blodgett.
"Words cannot express my gratitude," Victory said about all of the support the family received on Facebook. "We are just very fortunate and thankful that people sent messages and said prayers. We are eternally grateful."
While search and rescue teams scanned the mountain for Blodgett, he was trying to survive the bitter cold and snow. Soon after falling off the trail and splashing into the river, he found an old, abandoned wooden shack in the middle of the forest and took shelter there for six nights. On the final day, Blodgett summoned his strength and made his way down the mountain until he came across a house owned by a monk named Shinchoku, where he called for help.
Victory said that her brother was first able to speak to their parents, Art and Diane Blodgett, from the hospital at around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday. She said he was exhausted, dehydrated and that frostbite has set in on some of his fingers and toes.
Blodgett told his family from the hospital that he survived his ordeal by eating "a lot of snow."
Late Sunday night, Victory wrote on the Facebook page that Mike's wife, Ikuchan, told her that his doctors did not yet know when Mike would be well enough to leave the hospital. Ikuchan said that Mike was probably well enough to see visitors, but that she was afraid that Mike would not stop talking if everyone visits.