PORTLAND - A woman who was trapped for 18 hours with her hand stuck under the hood of a pickup truck in Molalla said she stayed focused on staying alive.

Joan Zuber's hand had to be amputated but she is recovering well. The 68-year-old woman has a scratchy throat, and needs an occasional sip of water, but she is amazingly strong and easygoing about what happened.

Well, I have another hand, I guess I m left handed now, she said with a smile.

Zuber was working on her truck's battery Wednesday afternoon when the hood slammed down on her hand. She was trapped until late Thursday morning when her cries for help were heard by neighbors on horseback.

Zuber said she was dressed in outdoor gear and walked in place to stay warm at times as temperatures dropped into the low 30s and snow began falling. She just refused to give up.

Really, I just had to stay positive, she said. I didn t think my hand was going to be saved, but I really didn t want to die and I didn t want people to come and find me hanging from the side of the truck, you know.

Zuber remains hospitalized Tuesday but hopes to get to return home soon. She also hopes to get back into her favorite hobbies of horseback riding, skiing and rock climbing, among other things.

Although life will be different with only one hand, Zuber said she s confident she can adjust. She s just glad to be alive.

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