Mother, Daughter Lost in New Zealand Wilderness Were 'Scared to Death'

EMILY SHAPIRO

When Carolyn Lloyd and her daughter from North Carolina disappeared while hiking in New Zealand, Lloyd had to summon her survival instincts when her daughter started to "suffer and die slowly" during their days in the wilderness.

"She was fading on me," said Lloyd, 45. "As a mother, it's terrifying."

"I took a tumble on the water and hit my head on the rock pretty bad," said her daughter, 22-year-old Rachel Lloyd.

Rachel, who graduated from North Carolina State University in December, is in New Zealand studying at Massey University. Her mother was visiting. The duo intended to embark on a one-day hike on Tuesday but they got lost and stranded in a rugged area of Tararua Forest Park.

The pair huddled together for warmth and rationed their supplies as they spent four nights in near freezing temperatures.

"I was speaking with my mom -- I was actually [sic] had to go through kind of my dying wishes, which was the hardest thing -- watching my mom watch me suffer and die slowly," Rachel said. "My mom was incredible. She carried me on her back for a little while when she could."

"I was scared to death," Carolyn said. "I thought they wouldn't find us."

But they made two "help" signs and arrows pointing to their location, Jason Diedrichs, director and chief pilot with Amalgamated Helicopters, told ABC News. This photo of one of their "help" signs was first obtained by The New Zealand Herald.

The two were found Saturday and airlifted to a hospital, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Diedrichs said Rachel was very weak and dehydrated, as they had very little food over the course of the four days.

Rachel's father Barry Lloyd told ABC News today that Rachel is still in the hospital and should be making a full recovery. Carolyn, meanwhile, was healthy when they were found and was never admitted to the hospital, he said.

Barry Lloyd told ABC News he's grateful to the people of New Zealand for helping find his wife and daughter. He said Rachel plans to stay in New Zealand to finish her semester abroad.

ABC News' Ben Stein and Sarah Herndon contributed to this report.