Pinned by a Tree for Days, He Broke Time Into Blocs

Minnesota's Jonathan Ceplecha was cutting down an oak tree when it fell on him
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2020 6:11 AM CDT
He Survived 4 Days Pinned by an Oak Tree
This photo provided by Redwood County Minnesota Sheriff's Office shows an oak tree that fell and pinned Jonathan Ceplecha for four days as he was cutting it.   (Redwood County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A Minnesota man who was taking down an oak tree on his property ended up being pinned by said oak tree for four long days. Now Jonathan Ceplecha, 59, has two broken legs and an amazing story of survival. The ordeal began on August 27, when Ceplecha tried to cut down an oak tree in the woods behind his house, reports NBC News. That was a Thursday. A large log from the tree broke away and fell on Ceplecha, pinning him helplessly. Family members called the Redwood County Sheriff's Office on Monday when they hadn't heard from him and he failed to show up for work. Rescuers then found him down a ravine, alert and able to tell them what happened.

"I was with him Monday in the hospital and he was kind of getting how he was able to keep from panicking, which was by breaking up the days into hours and then breaking up the hours into five-minute segments so that he could have little victories throughout the day that would give him little pieces of hope," son Miles tells KARE11. "He just tried to keep his mind distracted, and he did this hour after hour for 100 hours." A GoFundMe page by Miles adds that his father ate insects and drank rainwater while trapped. It took rescuers two painstaking hours to free Ceplecha from the tree. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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