A woman trapped in her car for six days after it overturned during last week’s record-breaking heatwave has said she stayed alive by drinking rainwater from a chewing gum box and thinking about her children.
Marie Corine Bastide injured her spine when she ran off the road into woods near the Belgian city of Liege
The 46-year-old said her phone rang constantly the first night, but she was in too much pain to reach it.
“The next day the telephone stopped ringing. I knew the battery had run out,” she told Belgian broadcaster RTBF.
“I tried screaming when I heard people, but apparently no one could hear me.”
She said the heat was “stifling” at first but that she managed to open a door with her foot.
“Then it started to rain over the weekend and that was nice,” said Ms Bastide. “On the other hand, I had to sleep in water for two nights.”
As temperatures rose to more than 40C (104F), she slipped in and out of consciousness because of pain from her injuries.
She managed to stay alive by collecting rain from a storm.
“I tried to drink by filling up a little chewing gum box,” she said.
“The hardest thing was lying on my back on broken glass. I tried to lift myself up but I had the feeling that my back was being ripped apart,” she said.
“I thought I would never get out.
“But I wanted to live for my children. I didn’t want them to think I had done something stupid, like kill myself.”
Ms Bastide was discovered by a woman on Monday after her son had put up missing posters and organised a search.
“She told me they were looking for me everywhere,” she said.
“She stayed with me all the time and that lady I think is my guardian angel.”