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No Food For A Week, But Missing 73-Year-Old Hiker Is Rebounding Fast

PASADENA (CBSLA)  -- Eugene Jo hasn't eaten in a week, he was stranded in the wilderness and he had to drink out of a creek.

When he was found today -- after missing for nearly a week -- he was weak and said he could barely roll over to yell for help.

But that was this morning and this is now.

"He wanted a hot meal --  immediately," said Janet Henderson who works with both Montrose Search and Rescue and Huntington Memorial Hospital where Jo is recuperating.

Jo was lost for seven days in the Angeles National Forest. Photos of Jo recovering in the hospital Sunday evening were provided exclusively to CBS2/KCAL9.

He was found in reasonably good shape for a 75-year-old man who hadn't eaten in days.  (Last week, Jo's age was given as 73). Friends say he is former military and stays active.

He had a few scrapes, but CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Greg Mills said "nothing major, two small scratches."

"Condition is great. He is awake, alert, talking, making some jokes and having a great reunion right now with his family," Henderson said.

Jo was airlifted to the hospital after being found in Devil's Canyon -- an area in the mountains above Duarte, Bradbury and Monrovia.

Finally, this morning, he heard the faint sound of rescuers. He wasn't sure they saw him or knew if he was there.

"He said it took everything he had to roll over on his hands and knees and yell for help. And that's when the rescuers heard him," says Henderson.

"We've been pretty worried about him," says Jason Urizar, Jo's neighbor in Gardena.

Friends, family and neighbors have been monitoring the search for Jo every day. CBS2/KCAL9 was able to give Urizar the good news that Jo was found and alive.

"I'm so happy, my wife and I, like he's so helpful around the building," Urizar says, "He does all the gardening and he doesn't have to. He's just a nice guy."

His family told reporters he would not give up.

He got lost on the trail after lagging behind his fellow hikers. Eventually, he found himself all alone. He endured hot days and cold nights. At night, he slept by rocks that were warmed by the sun during the day.

Volunteers came from all over California to aid in the search.

And it wasn't an easy one because Jo didn't stay put.

"One of the biggest things we tell hikers is if they get separated or lost from their group is to sit still. Somebody will come to that point last scene where they last seen where they last saw you," Henderson says.

And this should come as no surprised. Jo told his friends and family -- no more hiking for him.

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