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
Australian bushland.   (Shutterstock)

(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.

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Jan 29, 2013 4:09 PM CST
Where I come from, a guy gets whooped before trying a thing like that. Where I'm going, I think I'll look around a bit when I start to get hungry... like maybe about 220 yards around for starters. Obviously, mental illness is no joke. But where was the guy's family? His community? He's in the 'burbs of Sydney and barely makes it? That makes him a hero? If he's a hero, it's for the same reason that you and I are heroes: for surviving a civilisation that doesn't care about its members, and not for almost dying just a few kilometers away from it.
Jan 29, 2013 2:43 PM CST
highly disoriented, partly blinded,covered in leeches and suffering from gangrene, must not have been a boy scout!
Jan 29, 2013 1:17 PM CST
Since the underlying theme of Australia seems to be "Kill all the things" this guy should be studied as some type of superhero. Wow. How did he manage that? Hoping for a speedy recovery Outback Man. I will buy your comic when it comes out.