"This is why saving is so important WHEN YOU HAVE A FOLLOWER.
Because when (not if) something happens to your follower when eg:
1.they get in the way of an arrow and die (it's happened in my case numerous times) or
2. they get stuck like here or
3. you're relying on them to fight for you and you die,
you're done for. When they die, the "resurrect" cheat brings them back without your added apparel/weapons you've improved by smithing or found for them.
Don't trust Autosave (it could be way back in your travels), always get in the habit of pressing Esc to Manual Save and keep an eye on the red bar, and you can also save mid-fight in time for running away or potions."
(Her reply? "No kidding.")
Yet she keeps not saving and then dying. Each to their own if you love dying and don't care for progression and keeping all the goodies you found or prefer to work your butt off getting somewhere for no reason other than dying.