James Klemovich, a 76-year-old Colorado man, survived 10 days in the Nevada desert by drinking melted snow, but a friend who was with him died while trying to find help.

Klemovich and 75-year-old Laszlo Szabo were scoping out mines Mar. 18 when their car got stuck on an empty road with no cell phone service, Klemovich's wife, Joanne, told The Associated Press.

The two men weren't able to dislodge the Lincoln Town Car and tried lighting flares and starting fires to draw attention to them without success.

The area they were stranded in, Nevada's Pershing County, is populated by less than 7,000 people spread out over 6,000 square miles.

They gathered water by using a towel from the car to strain ditch water and snow into water bottles, but Szabo left to find help after four or five days.

Joanne Klemovich told The AP she was expecting the worst when she received a call Tuesday night from authorities saying her husband had been found by military personnel who were holding training exercises in the area.

The military personnel gave Klemovich a banana, two oranges and three boiled eggs when they found him.

Pershing County Sheriff Richard Machado told CBS Local Klemovich was in good health when the military personnel stumbled upon him. Szabo was found dead about a mile and a half away from the car.

According to Klemovich's wife, he has diabetes, wears a pacemaker and had a triple bypass heart surgery.

Rita Kalyani, a endocrinology professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told The AP drinking regularly kept Klemovich alive.

During a fast, she said, the body can draw glucose from the liver or from fat stores to keep levels from dropping too low. Drinking enough water flushes out the excess glucose and prevents levels from becoming too high.

He told his wife he didn't panic while waiting for Szabo to return. He kept a journal of how much water he drank and what he did each day, while also writing a daily letter for his wife.

Klemovich is still in Nevade waiting for the car to be recovered before returning home. He was treated and released from the hospital, according to The AP.