It's unbelievable what human beings can actually live through: An 18-year-old Australian boy named Matthew Allen was recently discovered by hikers after spending 9 weeks lost in the bush -- during a record heatwave reaching temperatures of 113 degrees. 9 weeks!?!? 113 degrees!?!? I can't even imagine surviving 9 DAYS under those conditions. Granted, the poor kid wasn't in particularly great shape when the hikers found him: Allen was reportedly "highly disoriented, partly blinded, covered in leeches, and suffering from gangrene." Over the course of 9 weeks, he also lost approximately 90 pounds -- half of his body weight. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.
How on earth did this kid live through such an insanely harrowing and miserable ordeal?! Well, that's sort of the strangest part of this horrible story -- besides apparently drinking water from a muddy stream, no one really knows how he survived.
An accounting student who, according to a family friend, "wanted to run away from his life," Matthew Allen left home with nothing but some basic camping equipment and a small amount of food. He didn't take his cell phone -- nor did he tell anyone where he was going. Ironically, Allen was found only 220 yards away from a residential area which was somehow blocked from his view.
Although I have to wonder -- maybe he knew how close he was to civilization? "He didn't want to be found," added the family friend. Allen reportedly suffers from mental health issues and is currently undergoing treatment for "exposure-related injuries;" hopefully he's receiving psychiatric help, too (hell, an experience like that would GIVE a person mental health issues!).
Here's hoping he gets well soon -- and stays well. Maybe someday he can share his secrets of survival with the rest of us.
Have you ever heard of someone surviving something like this?
Image via anniemullinsuck/Flickr