In the game of “Survivor,” the goal is to outwit, outplay and outlast the competition, but sometimes real-life troubles get in the way that lead to dramatic medical evacuations. As of this writing, a whopping 15 castaways have been medevaced by host Jeff Probst and the medical teams due to emergencies — 14 men and only 1 woman (Kourtney Moon). Need a refresher on the show’s evacuees through the years? Click through our photo gallery above highlighting all of the medevacs on “Survivor.”
While the first season (“Borneo”) went off without a hitch in 2000, the much anticipated sequel (“The Australian Outback”) in 2001 wasn’t so lucky. In the sixth episode Michael Skupin fell face-first into the campfire after taking in too much smoke. Cameras didn’t actually capture the moment he fell in the flames, but the after-effects were just as gruesome to watch. With skin dangling from his badly burnt hands, Michael was flown out of the Outback by helicopter as the show’s first-ever medevac.
Michael was given a second chance in Season 25’s “Philippines” where he made it all the way to the finals. He ended up tying for second place with Lisa Whelchel; they both lost to Denise Stapley. See the “Survivor” winners list.
In the Season 37 premiere of the current cycle, “David vs. Goliath,” Pat Cusack took a hard hit on the boat as it hit rough water on the way back to camp from the first immunity challenge. As the tribe exited the boat it was immediately clear Pat was in trouble. After a visit from medical and showing no improvements, Pat was pulled from the game for a potential severe back injury. Pat has since made a full recovery, he revealed in our recent podcast interview.
Pat’s evacuation came five seasons after the most dangerous season of the show ever: Season 32’s “Kaoh Rong.” A whopping three castaways had to be medevaced during that cycle: Caleb Reynolds experienced heat stroke, Neal Gottlieb had a knee infection and Joe Del Campo suffered from bladder problems.
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