Earthquake survivor shares details on the disaster - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Earthquake survivor shares details on the disaster

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) -  A local woman is finally back home in San Diego after living through the devastating earthquake in Nepal. 

Kat Heldman was stranded on the side of a mountain and says she thought she was going to die. When the earthquake hit, she found herself trapped under a wall of snow in the avalanche.

"I just cowered under the rock wall and put my arms up in the avalanche," she says.

Kat Heldman, who works as a realtor in Del Mar, was traveling with a group of three mountain climbers from San Diego, including her husband Kevin Krough and their friends Oscare Olea and Brigida Martiniez. Their original plan was to embark on a month-long adventure in Nepal. The last thing they expected was to survive a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake. 

Following the quake, they helped a baby with two broken legs receive medical care. Martinez used her skills as a nurse to support injured villagers who climbed up to their campsite. They were eventually evacuated by a military helicopter and made their way to Kathmandu where they flew back to the U.S.

"Leaving Nepal, I feel guilty. I feel fortunate to be alive and leaving the people and trekkers there, I feel sad. To be back in the U.S., I feel totally surreal," she says. 

Heldman plans on doing a memorial trip to climb the mountain a year from now and revisit the people of Nepal to pay their respects.

In the meantime, her family set up a Gofundme page to help with relief efforts.

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