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Crash survivor reunited with parents

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  • Parents visit Francesca Lewis, 13, in hospital, nurse says
  • Girl survived two days in rain and cold after plane crash in Panama
  • Teen being treated for fractured arm, minor cuts
  • Crash killed Panamanian pilot, American businessman and his daughter
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PANAMA CITY, Panama (CNN) -- The parents of the sole survivor of a plane crash in Panama have been reunited with their daughter at the hospital where she is receiving treatment, a nurse said early Thursday.

Kirk and Valerie Lewis of Santa Barbara, California, arrived Wednesday at the Mae Lewis Medical Center in David, Panama, where their daughter Francesca, 13, is being treated.

Francesca was flying with three others Sunday when their plane ran into bad weather and crashed in a mountainous area.

"She's doing all right," Valerie Lewis said Wednesday of her daughter. "She is having tests done at the hospital right now, and so far things seem good -- kind of miraculous.

"The fact that she so far doesn't seem to have any major damage seems incredible."

Pilot Edwin Lasso of Panama, American businessman Michael Klein and Klein's 13-year-old daughter, Talia, were killed. Rescuers found their bodies about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Panama's civil protection agency.

Francesca endured two days in the rugged mountains of Panama in frigid temperatures and heavy rain before rescuers stumbled upon her in the wreckage on Christmas Day.

Francesca apparently was delirious when her rescuers saw her under a wing of the wrecked plane, her mother said. She thought she was at home and wondered why an airplane wing was in her house, her mother said.

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"I think her body was in survival mode," Valerie Lewis said.

Rescue crews carried Francesca for 3 hours over rugged terrain to a helicopter.

The helicopter flew Francesca from a hospital near the crash site to the clinic in David, where Dr. Alexander Quidano said she was in stable condition, awake and speaking. Video Watch Francesca arrive at the hospital in an ambulance »

She was being treated for a fractured arm and cuts, but tests -- including a CT scan -- were under way to make sure nothing else was wrong, Quidano said.

"We're so relieved to have her with us," Valerie Lewis said.

Francesca apparently fell out of the plane as it fell toward earth or was ejected on impact, her mother said Wednesday.

The girl was close friends with Talia Klein.

"It's very tragic that the others didn't survive," Valerie Lewis said. "My heart goes out to everyone. We all have been through a tremendous trauma together."

Michael Klein, a 37-year-old hedge fund manager, was vacationing with the two girls when they took the flight to photograph a volcano in Chiriqui province, about 285 miles west of Panama City.

Authorities said they think the small single-engine Cessna ran into bad weather. Officials lost radio contact with the flight about noon Sunday.


Klein's family offered a $25,000 reward in hopes that local residents who are familiar with the area would step forward and assist in the rescue.

Klein was president and CEO of eGroups Inc. in 1999 and 2000, when Yahoo! acquired the company, merging it with its own e-mail services and changing its name to Yahoo! Groups, which now serves more than 100 million users worldwide. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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