Man, 84, Survives Five Days Lost in Desert

Feb. 15: Henry Morello, of Anthem, Ariz. , talks about his ordeal in the desert during a news conference in Phoenix (AP).

Feb. 15: Henry Morello, of Anthem, Ariz. , talks about his ordeal in the desert during a news conference in Phoenix (AP).

An 84-year-old man who survived five days in the Arizona desert without food and water is explaining how he survived, MyFoxPhoenix reported Tuesday.

Henry Morello was found on Saturday near Bloody Basin Road and Phoenix Interstate 17 north of Black Canyon City.

John C. Lincoln Hospital officials said Morello was hospitalized and is now in good condition.

Morello said he took a wrong turn after he ate at Harold's Cave Creek Corral, and ended up in the desert.

He said eventually his car battery died along with his cell phone.

“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."

Morello had no water with him, but did have a little bit of pasta left over from Harold's. He chose not to eat it because it made him thirsty.

Morello said he used car mats to stay warm and even read a car manual from cover to cover to pass time. Nights were hardest because he would get 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.”

Overnight temperatures the week he was missing were in the upper 30s F to the mid-40s F (3-7 C), the National Weather Service said.

On day five, he was spotted by some campers. Morello heard a knock on a window from a hiker, and suddenly his long, painful ordeal was over.

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

Though Morello suffers from early symptoms of dementia, he was bright and alert after spending three days in the hospital. He will remain there for a few days while he is treated for kidney damage.

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

He said his faith kept him alive, and that he prayed to Saint Anthony, the patron of lost causes.

Morello's family and friends say they have taken away his car keys and from now on, he will make a wonderful co-pilot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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