A contestant on US television show Naked and Afraid XL has completed the rigorous program despite contracting life-threatening malaria.
Trent Nielsen, 44, was suffering from an unknown illness that left him weakened to the point that his teeth were falling out while competing in the latter part of the survival show which sees a group of strangers live in the wilderness naked.
Concerned for his safety in South Africa’s Selati Basin near the end of the 30-day challenge, a medical crew tested his blood — and the results weren’t good.
Nielsen was informed by the medic that he tested positive for malaria.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasitic disease with symptoms including severe headaches, fever, nausea, and diarrhea. Hundreds of thousands of people die from malaria every year.
Since Nielsen was already weakened from the challenge, the disease hit his body hard.
He was administered the antibiotic doxycycline to combat the disease, but he refused to quit the challenge because he was so close to the 40th day and extraction.
“To go through this extraction in the condition that I’m in with the malaria, it’s going to make it much harder, but I want to be with my team all the way to the end,” Nielsen said.
- ‘This is what a hero looks like’: Woman’s puppy saves her from snake
- Rocket bursts into flames seconds after lift-off
- Police officers become viral hit after lip-syncing to Spice Girls
Despite his weakened state, Nielsen managed to swim crocodile-infested waters and hike five miles, earning much respect from his fellows.
“Trent is one of those that he’s not going to let a little malaria slow him down,” fellow contestant Matt wright said.
Nielsen completed the challenge and made a full recovery.