Imagine if you knew you were going to die – imminently – and you decided to record to goodbye video to your children.
Last year, Paula Lane quickly kissed her 11-year-old twin boys goodbye before going ‘four-wheeling’ (that’s driving off-road) with her boyfriend.
What she didn’t know is that, when caught in a massive snowstorm just a few days later, she would be recording a second goodbye to her boys – this time while facing the near certainty of her own death.
Paula and her partner, Roderick Clifton, became caught in a snowstorm and were trapped in their car. After the first night of the snowstorm, Roderick decided to walk out and search for help – but he never returned.
Four days later, Paula was still in the car. Increasingly scared, and not knowing whether help was coming, she made an emotional goodbye video for her two sons on her camera phone:
After she made the video, Paula walked for two days looking for help. In that time she found Roderick’s body in the snow. Paula was eventually found by her brother, who refused to give up hope that she was alive and borrowed a tractor in order to start his own search party.
Alongside her brother, Gary Lane, and his friend Brian Roff, Lane spoke with Matt Lauer on TODAY Wednesday about the harrowing experience and saying what she thought might be her final goodbye to her children.
“It’s really hard,’’ Lane said about watching the video. “That’s only the fourth time that I’ve seen it. When I first made the tape, I wanted it to be more of a happy goodbye. I knew it was going to be a goodbye, I felt. Once I started talking, I almost felt like somebody else was there with me, and I’m getting to release to somebody. It was the first time I cried since the ordeal had begun, and to watch it now, it’s surreal.’’
She had never met Roff, so when he picked her up and put her in the tractor’s bucket, she didn’t know it was her brother driving the tractor until she saw him out of her peripheral vision.
Paula Lane suffered first-degree frostbite, and her doctors said she is lucky she did not have to have her toes or feet amputated.
“Emotionally, I think I’m coming along a little bit better than physically, remarkably,’’ she told Lauer. “I’m getting there.’’