A 59-year-old man has survived more than 100 hours trapped under a fallen tree by living off insects, plants and drinking his own sweat.
Jonathan Ceplecha was cutting down trees behind his home in Western Minnesota on August 27 when a large oak tree fell, pinning him underneath.
The teacher and war veteran lives alone so it wasn’t until he failed to arrive at work for two days before the alarm was raised and local police were notified he was missing.
On the afternoon of August 31 Mr Ceplecha was discovered by his ex-wife less than 100 metres from his home, down a steep ravine with both his legs pinned under the tree.
"Not many people could have survived that,” Redwood County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mark Farasyn told reporters at a media conference.
Deputy Farasyn, who was at the rescue scene said Mr Ceplecha was “alert and conscious” when he was found and believes his experience as an Iraqi war veteran helped him survive the ordeal.
“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.
According to a GoFundMe page launched to help Mr Ceplecha pay his medical bills, he survived eating plants and insects within arm's reach, drank sweat and rainwater that he collected in his clothes, and covered his head in his shirt during the nights to keep the insects off as he slept.
Mr Ceplecha suffered two broken legs and is currently in Hennepin County hospital in a stable condition.
“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,” the GoFundMe page started by Mr Ceplecha’s son, Miles Ceplecha, says.
Miles told local news outlet Kare 11 that his father kept his mental health in check while waiting to be rescued 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, 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," Miles said.
"He just tried to keep his mind distracted, and he did this hour after hour for 100 hours."
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.