Eric LeMarque suffered from stage IV frostbite after being stranded on Mammoth Mountain in February 2004 for eight days. The incident cost the former professional ice hockey player his most important asset—both legs.

However, the incident made LeMarque realize the value of his life and his family, especially his wife. He understood that they were the real treasures in his life as they never left his side when he battled to stay alive.

Read on to know more about LeMarque’s 2004 incident and his relationship with his family!

Eric LeMarque Lost In Strange Woods And Thick Snow

LeMarque skied around the Mammoth Mountain in California’s Sierra Nevada range on February 6, 2004, with only a light jacket, some gum, soggy matches, and a bag of meth.

The West Hills, Los Angeles native was very aware of the wall of storm clouds heading his way. He even knew the storm would overtake him in a matter of minutes. But his “overconfidence and poor judgment” took him towards the unfamiliar territory.

As the sun went down, he was lost in the woods and was forced to spend the night then-and-there. When he woke up in the morning, he moved ahead to get back home through the 15-foot snow.

But neither the weather was in his favor nor his luck; he got stuck in the cold woods. Also, he encountered coyotes; slipped and fell into the freezing water; almost plunged over an 80-foot waterfall; walked in the snow with one boot and no socks on either foot; and lived seven nights with no food, water, or shelter.

He Was Rescued By Helicopter When He Had Lost All Hopes

With no food and supply, LeMarque was on the verge of death. He had severe frostbites on his feet and legs, weight loss of 45 pounds, and fading hope of being found. But, just when LeMarque had lost all his hopes of getting back home alive on his eighth day, he heard a helicopter sound buzzing above him. It was a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter with the search and rescue team.

The American-French author was then rushed to the hospital. Initially, the surgeons only amputated his feet just above the ankles, but his legs were damaged so severely that they had to take off another 6 inches and cut below the knee.

Experts cited that no human could survive such critical conditions. However, LeMarque did beat all the odds and earned the name ‘The Miracle Man.’

Based on his story, a biopic-film titled 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain was also made in 2017. American actor Josh Hartnett portrayed the role of LeMarque in the movie.

Eric Feels Blessed To Have An Incredible Wife And Beautiful Family

While sharing his story to Mirror magazine in October 2017, Eric LeMarque emphasized that his near to death experience made him realize his family's worth. 

He said that his addiction to powder [he consumed Meth] and overconfidence to beat the snow were things that brought the unforgettable hurricane in his life. But what he found after the incident was “an incredible wife and beautiful family.” The former ice hockey player further started: 

[my family] are the down payments on a future I never imagined could be mine.

Eric is married to his wife, Hope, and has a son, Zach.

He also has a step-son named Nick. Presently, the international best-selling author resides with his son Zach in Southern California.