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North Greenbush woman reunites with police officers who saved her life

NORTH GREENBUSH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Imagine being trapped for hours in the freezing cold as the sun sets and hopes of being rescued begin to fade.

For one local mother of five, that nightmare became a reality.

Her name is Susan Cramer Machia.

It was at the bottom of this ravine where police found her clinging to life. Monday, she was reunited with the officers who saved her life.

She is a woman on a mission, with each step, a challenge.

“It’s tough to walk on my feet,” Cramer Machia said.

But Susan is determined; it’s a miracle she’s even here. Two months ago, she was trapped, hanging for her life.

“I only remember bits and pieces of being down there,” Cramer Machia said.

On december 17th, she was walking along North Greenbush Road.

In a moment her life changed. Susan slipped and fell to the bottom, unable to move. Immediately her husband, Thorton, knew something wasn’t right.

“Serious fear. I never felt anything like that,” Thorton said.

He searched frantically for her, and called police. On one of the coldest days of the year, the clock was ticking.

“Our concern was she wasn’t going to make it through the night,” he said.

Officer John Hudson with North Greenbush police and investigator Eric Cullum with New York State police helped lead the charge.

After 12 hours, there was no sign of her, but they decided to do one last look before the sun set.

“There she was,” Hudson said.

“She was just down in an area where you wouldn’t have seen her,” Cullum said.

The two men ran down.

“She was just hanging on. I checked her pulse. Checked her eyes with the flashlight and it wasn’t good,” Cullum said.

They feared the worst. But Susan is a fighter. She was rushed to hospital, and survived.

Now two months later she is still recovering. But there’s no way she’s going to miss this, reunited with the men who saved her.

“I’m very thankful, very grateful that they kept looking for me,” Cramer Machia said.

“That’s what we do it for. When we’re in the academy, why did you join? To help people,” Cullum said.

Susan is scheduled for surgery on her feet on Wednesday.