Boy Survives 9 Weeks in Wild; Has Leeches All Over

Matthew Allen, 18, had gangrene when hikers found him

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 28, 2013 6:37 PM CST

(Newser) – An Australian teenager who wanted to "run away from his life" survived nearly 9 weeks in the bush near Sydney before being discovered by hikers, Perth Now reports. Matthew Allen, 18, was highly disoriented, partly blinded, covered in leeches, and suffering from gangrene when first responders winched him to an ambulance. Amazingly, Matthew was just 220 yards away from homes that were blocked from his view.

How he survived during record 113-degree heat is unclear, but he drank from a muddy creek as he lost nearly 90 pounds—about half his body weight. The accountancy student had simply left home with basic camping equipment and food supplies, leaving his cell phone behind. He reportedly suffers from mental health problems: "He didn't want to be found," says a family friend. "He wanted to run away from his life." He is being treated in a hospital for exposure-related injuries, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Australian bushland.   (Shutterstock)
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