Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hayden Update

I've received a lot of emails asking how Hayden is doing. The last 24 hours have been full of ups and downs. Last night there was a huge down when things took a turn for the worse and looked pretty bleak. However, tonight, there appears to be some good news:

Wild animals, maggots attack Australian lost in Laos

Hayden Adcock ... close to death when found.

Hayden Adcock ... close to death when found.

An Australian man who survived a harrowing 11 days missing in the jungle in Laos had terrible injuries inflicted by wild animals and an infestation of maggots, his mother says.

Hayden Adcock, 40, is recovering in a Thai hospital following his ordeal, with medical staff saying his condition has improved slightly since yesterday.

Hayden suffered multiple health problems after he went missing on a short walk to a waterfall in a national park in the Khammouane province of Laos on July 31.

A helicopter search found him on August 10 and he was airlifted to hospital in Bangkok.

His mother, Lynne Sturrock, who is with her son, said Hayden was badly injured when he was rescued.

"He came upon a beautiful escarpment of coloured rocks, something he hadn't seen before and went over to have a look, maybe strayed off the track a bit, and some huge lizards came out," she told the Nine Network today.

The lizards chased him, and he was injured when he fell from the escarpment, becoming prey to local wildlife, she said.

"Wild animals had attacked him and he was covered in wounds," she said.

"... Flies had bitten him. He ended up with maggots in his wounds, which is a good thing, people are saying, but they ended up laying eggs in the good layers of the skin as well."

His 78-year-old father Stan Adcock, who lives at Yandina on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, said medicos administered an injection last night to stop Hayden's internal bleeding, and it appeared to be working.

Michael Morton, an Australian doctor working at the hospital where Hayden was being treated, emailed Mr Adcock to say he had seen his son this morning and he was "conscious, alert and responding well".

"He has several medical problems all interacting with each other and has a long way to go," Dr Morton wrote.

"Both he and Lynne are very happy with the care he is receiving and the Australian embassy has been very supportive."

Mr Adcock said he was encouraged by the overnight development after bleeding in Hayden's stomach had caused him to take a turn for the worse on Sunday night.

"It's better news today because it's been a couple of terrible days," Mr Adcock said today.

"I'd almost given up hope for him."

If the injection did its job, surgeons at the Bangkok hospital would not have to operate.

This was something they had been reluctant to do, given his significant weight loss, multiple health problems and weakened condition.