News State Western Australia Grandmother, 84, miraculously found alive after three days in the bush

Grandmother, 84, miraculously found alive after three days in the bush

grandmother missing in bush in WA
Patricia Byrne's survival at 84 years old was "incredible", one outdoors expert said. Photo: Supplied/AAP
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An 84-year-old grandmother has been found alive three days after she went missing in remote bush land in WA’s Great Southern region.

Patricia Byrne’s medical condition is still being assessed but police said she had been communicating with her rescuers.

The alarm was raised after Ms Byrne disappeared while helping family members maintain walking tracks in the Stirling Range National Park.

She was last seen walking down a fire break on Thursday.

grandmother missing in bush in WA
Mrs Byrne was carrying no food, water or mobile phone. Photo; WA Police/Twitter

Temperatures reached 37 degrees Celsius in the region on Friday and Ms Byrne had no water or food.

Almost 70 emergency volunteers and police took part in the search.

Police said Ms Byrne appeared to be “weakened by the incident”, and was being taken to hospital in Albany for medical treatment.

Great Southern Police Inspector Geoff Dixon said inclement weather overnight had been particularly concerning given Ms Byrne’s age.

“The weather conditions weren’t ideal overnight, we had quite strong winds and rain here on the Northern part of the Stirling Ranges,” he said.

“Exposure is one of those insidious things, that creeps up on you, and at 84 years old it doesn’t matter how fit you are.”

elderly woman found in bush inWA
Dozens of police and volunteers took part in a search of the vast Stirling Range National Park. Photo: ABC News: Kit Mochan

Grandmother’s survival ‘amazing’

Bob Cooper, who runs bush survival courses, said Ms Byrne’s survival was “incredible”.

“I’d love to know the story of how she kept herself alive,” he said.

“Your will to survive is something you can’t lose.”

grandmother missing in bush in WA
Searchers left messages taped to bottles in the Stirling Ranges with the hope Patricia Byrne would find them. Photo: ABC News: Mark Bennett

Mr Cooper had not expected Ms Byrne to survive her ordeal.

“I thought she wouldn’t be alive after this amount of time because you need water, she must have been able to find water or not moved,” he said.

“It’s so important not to give up … some people who are much fitter than an 84-year-old have just given up and have perished not far from help … so it’s really amazing.”