Elderly man lost in Arizona desert credits faith for survival

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An 84-year-old Arizona man who was lost in the desert for five days without food and water says his faith kept him alive.

Henry Morello of Anthem, Arizona said he prayed to St. Anthony when he took a wrong turn after eating at Harold’s Cave Creek Corral north of Phoenix and became lost in the desert. As time wore on, his car battery and his cell phone both died.

“I can't walk, so I had to stay there...I tried to walk away, but I fell down and I had to crawl back,” Morello told MyFoxPhoenix. “I got my cane and put it on the steering wheel and I hunched myself back into the car.”

He had no water with him and used car floor mats to stay warm overnight, when temperatures ranged from the upper 30s F to the mid-40s F.

Nights were the hardest because he would become scared, he said.

“I got scared, panicky, a little bit,” Morello said. “I didn't know if they were going to find me or not.”

Campers discovered him on his fifth day out, when a hiker knocked on his window.

“I just kissed him,” Morello said of the hiker. “He looked like an angel to me.”

Morello suffers from early symptoms of dementia and family and friends have taken away his car keys. However, he was bright and alert after three days in the hospital. He will remain there for a few more days to be treated for kidney damage.

“I'm doing fine right now…they gave me a good shower,” he said. “I feel great.”

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