Incredibly, Vulovic was found alive, trapped by a food cart in either the center section or the tail section of the jet, depending on sources. According to the official accident report, she had fallen 33,330 feet — or 6.31 miles — to the ground.
The tail section had come down in a densely forested area, which was also covered in snow, further cushioning the impact. Although Vulovic sustained a fractured skull, two crushed vertebrae, a broken pelvis, two broken legs, and several broken ribs, she was still conscious and her cries for help had been heard in the dark by a woodsman who was among the rescue team
Once taken to the hospital, Vulovic was in a coma for as long as a month (accounts here vary) and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. However, she ultimately made a near-full recovery and went back to work with JAT in a desk job.
“I was broken, and the doctors put me back together again,” she told the New York Times in 2008. “Nobody ever expected me to live this long.” However, she never regained any memory of the incident or her subsequent rescue.