Unsanitary water kept Melbourne, Australia, native Hayden Adcock alive for 11 days while he was lost in a Laos jungle, but it also made him violently ill.
Lynne Sturrock, who has flown to Thailand to be at her son's bedside, described his surviving without food in stormy wilderness as “a miracle.”
Adcock suffered multiple health problems after he was stranded on a short walk to a waterfall in a national park in the Khammouane province of Laos on July 31, The Australian Associated Press reported.
Adcock, 40, remains in intensive care at the elite Bangkok Hospital Medical Centre, where he was flown by helicopter after being found semi-conscious.
"He has lost a lot of weight," his mother said. "And he looks as if he has had a ski accident because he is all bandaged up with all his wounds. But it's a miracle he is alive and I do thank God for that."
Adcock has bleeding in his stomach that may require surgery and is unable to walk because of infected wounds covering his body. The injuries caused by wild animals are infested with maggots.
He also developed infections from drinking contaminated ground water.
"Nobody knows how he managed to live for 11 days, but he was saved in the nick of time," Sturrock said.
She said her son's high level of fitness, healthy diet and bushwalking experience had helped him survive.
She said her son had asked if he needed a guide to visit the waterfall in the wild Khammouane province, but was told he could go alone.
After reaching the first waterfall in good time, he continued to a second when disaster struck.
"He was very unlucky that a storm blew in and washed out all the tracks," Sturrock said.