On Wednesday night’s season premiere of Survivor David vs. Goliath, we watched as David tribe member Pat Cusack was removed from the game after getting injured on a boat ride back to their island. As it turns out, the injury was enough to pull him from the game, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, he was basically back to normal days later.
But what actually happened to Pat on Survivor 2018? Jeff Probst talked to the Hollywood Reporter about it the day after the accident.
“They leave, and what happens next, in terms of the show’s logistics, is they get in a boat and are transported back to their island, which is quite a ways away. We’ve been doing this since season one, when we only had five boats. We have never had a problem — until yesterday. They hit some hard waves, which rocked the boat, and jarred Pat so badly that his back really got messed up. It doesn’t sound like much: ‘OK, you hurt your back. Rub it out a little bit.’ No, it really messed him up, so much so that the boat captain turned around and headed back to the challenge [location] where we still were.
“They got Pat off the boat and immediately put him in a stretcher. His pain was so bad that it became pretty clear pretty quickly that they needed to give him some morphine. It became clear to those of us watching from the outside that he wasn’t going to continue. He didn’t know that. He was struggling to even be conscious of what was happening. You could tell he was hearing you every so often, but mostly, it was the doctors saying, ‘Pat, stay with us. Are you with us?’ We were very much aware of his vital signs; we were monitoring them. The helicopter was already loading up and flying over to evacuate him. We got very lucky that there was a brief break in the rain where the chopper could land.” — THR
THR also spoke to Pat after the season wrapped and he told them that he spent three days in the hospital but was able to return to Fiji where he spent time at Ponderosa. He also said he was back to exercising within a week following being pulled from the game. Eventually he learned that he had some mild spinal deterioration and the accident may have intensified that, according to THR.
“I’m going through some physical therapy to help strengthen the core and my spine, and to get some muscles rebuilt around my back,” Pat told THR. “There’s some disc deterioration that we’re going to work on. Other than that? I feel great. I’m almost at 125 percent.”
So it sounds like the injury seemed worse than it was in the moment, but Survivor isn’t really into the whole letting someone leave and come back thing. So Pat because the first person to leave Survivor 37. Good to hear he’s doing better, though.