Bloke trapped under tree for four days survived by eating plants and insects

A bloke who had been missing for four days was found less than a hundred yards from his home after a bizarre gardening accident.

Jonathan Ceplecha was trapped when a large oak tree fell on him as he was trimming branches. He fell down down a steep ravine and remained pinned under the tree for more then 100 hours.

“In a split second … both of his legs were suddenly pinned down under an immovable log and his upper torso was now semi-twisted as he sat upright on the ground,” wrote Jonathan’s son Miles on a GoFundme page launched to help pay his medical bills.



“His legs were broken instantly and he was in enormous pain, but with no phone on him and because he lives alone, there was nobody to hear or see him,” he continued.

The trapped schoolteacher survived, he said, by eating insects and plants, and drinking his own sweat. He covered his head with his shirt at night to keep the insects off as he slept.

Jonathan, 59, lives alone and it was only after he failed to turn up for work for two days running that the alarm was raised.



Eventually the exhausted army veteran was found by his ex-wife – just 100 yards from his home.

Redwood County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mark Farasyn told a press conference that Jonathan was alert and conscious” when he was found, adding: ”Not many people could have survived that.”

He said it was likely that Jonathan’s combat experience in Iraq had probably given him the skills he needed to survive: “It was probably something I’ve never seen in my 30 years and probably will never see again, he had the will to live, and he wasn’t ready to go,” he said.

The falling tree broke both of Jonathan’s legs. Miles wrote on GoFundMe page: “It is likely that both of his legs will be saved, but he faces a long road to full physical recovery and his feet are still in bad condition.”

He told local news site Kare 11 that his dad kept his spirits up by “meditating and inventing rhythms to follow from dawn to dusk”.

“I was with him Monday in the hospital and he was kind of getting how he was able to keep from panicking,” he explained, “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.

“He just tried to keep his mind distracted, and he did this hour after hour for 100 hours.”

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