"I can't leave my son without a mom,'' Karen Klein told NBC about her motivation to keep going. "I can't leave my husband without a wife. I'm not letting my parents bury me. I was determined that this is not how my life is going to end."

She is recovering in a Utah hospital where she faces possible amputation of one or more frostbite toes.

"In the grand scheme of things," said Klein, "I keep thinking: 'You know what? It's a few toes. Don't worry about it.' "