Move one step at a time
by Ashley Thompson
The survivalists are 4 weeks into their challenge and dropping like flies. Except after this 24 hour period they literally drop. After Ryan left on his solo journey, he found plenty to eat. However, it came back to haunt him as he was depleted of fluids from vomiting extensively. He’s in so much pain he decides to radio in the medic for help ASAP. In his background he can hear lions prowling his camp when the medic finally arrives. He discloses that he ate clapper berry fruits and a monitor lizard and with that information they fear he is suffering from internal bleeding or kidney failure. They force him out of the challenge and take him to the hospital.
Back at the group camp there’s still some animosity towards Ryan, but they have no idea he has been forced to tap out. And they fully expect to see him on their journey to their new camp on the Mkuze River. The wooly caper bush is a parasitic vine that grows acidic fruits rich with vitamin c and the group has a feast. Not everyone is thrilled with the fruit and later we find out why.
Eventually they come across a body-less monitor lizard, which automatically makes them feel that Ryan is near. It obviously wasn’t decapitated by an animal that cleanly. Nonetheless, the group is thrilled to be at the river… until they see the massive lion prints in the mud and hear a cat kill a warthog in the distance. For the record, that warthog must have been brutally tortured based on the sounds it was making. But that’s nothing compare to what the psycho toxic venom of the puff adder can do. It is the most dangerous snake in Africa and is responsible for over 20,000 deaths a year! Suddenly the group realizes that Ryan is nowhere to be found. They come across his camp and his tools are all left behind. Can’t the crew just tell them that he has tapped out? Nope… but they decide to watch his diary cam to investigate for themselves. How lucky that so many clues were left behind (she types in her suspicious and sarcastic tone). It’s basically just a foreshadowing of things to come for the rest of the group because chances are it’s the clapper berry fruit causing the problems. Jake immediately starts feeling the symptoms which is unfortunate because he’s been one of the most capable survivalists in Africa.
By the afternoon Phaedra is writhing and screaming in pain, requiring immediate medical attention. So when Darrin says it wasn’t the fruit, he couldn’t be more wrong. They take her to base camp for an IV but she begs them to not make her tap out. Once they evaluate her condition, they’ll decide wether or not to let her finish the challenge. Unfortunately, Jake suffers the same fate and gets taken out on a stretcher only hours later. The medic thinks the group is suffering from acute gastritis, sudden swelling of the stomach lining, caused by infected fruit. Most likely contaminated by the saliva of monkeys or bats. At night, Jake is monitored with improvements, but Phaedra is at maximum dosage for pain and needs to be transferred to a hospital.
Back at the group camp moral is low, energy is low, and egos are high. The remaining survivalists aren’t agreeing on much but they need to be prepared for anything. Like, more group members becoming ill while lions prowl and grumble in the background. Not a great time to be vulnerable. While the EMT is taking Phaedra to the hospital, they stop off and pick up Kim who is wailing from the intense pain. They recommend immediate evacuation for Kim. Will anyone be left standing on day 40? In less than 24 hours 3 people have been taken to the hospital.
As a result of all of the evacuations, the groups XLR plummets to 3.9.
Photo by: Discovery Channel