Survivor 42 premiered Wednesday night, and viewers were shocked when Jackson Fox was removed from the game after a medical issue game to light.
As you probably saw in the premiere episode, Fox told his story of transitioning and reconnecting with this parents in his mother’s final days. And then Jeff Probst shows up on the island, pulls Fox aside and tells him he has to go to protect his health.
But a lot of viewers were last scratching their heads. Why exactly did Fox have to leave? And why did they let him get that far in the process before deciding to remove him from the game? Fox spoke to Parade Magazine to answer some of those questions.
Fox explained the whole issue with his medication lithium.
“I’d already started to wean myself off of it when Survivor got a hold of me, but it takes a little bit of time,” he explains. “I told my doctor, ‘Hey, I really don’t want to be on lithium anymore. I’m good. I’m sleeping better.’ And she’s like, ‘Okay, great. We’re going to start weaning off.’ But it does take time. My wife’s a nurse. And she’s like, ‘It’ll work itself out by the time I got to Survivor.'”
But it didn’t.
“I’m on the island. I had a couple of doses left,” he continues. “And I wasn’t really thinking anything of it. I got so wrapped up in everything going on, I didn’t want to think about what could actually happen the minute I was off the medication. On the day before starting, I told the doctor, ‘I’m on lithium. I just got a couple of doses left.’ She’s like, ‘Oh my, okay. Okay, we can do this. We’re just going to watch you very closely for two to three days, and we’ll see how you are.’ And I thought, ‘It’s going to be fine. It’s not a big deal.'”
But apparently it was a big deal.
“The first day, I was fine. I did the challenge, and was great,” Fox explains. “But I think I drank half a container of water in two days. Because I wasn’t thinking about it. And I remember getting up in the middle of the night, and I weebled and wobbled and held onto the shelter. I remember Marya looked at me, and she was like, ‘Are you okay?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m fine. I’m fine. It’s probably I’m just tired.’ I wasn’t really thinking it was a problem until the next day. Lindsay’s a nutritionist, and she was telling me, ‘You don’t look right. You need to drink water all day.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, I can do that.’ But I didn’t feel right. And then, of course, you see Jeff coming on. And I thought, ‘Well, this isn’t good,’ because he never comes to the island. And then, when he said my name, I knew, ‘We’re done.’ ”
Fox also reveals that he is doing very well today.
“Everything’s very good! I’m very healthy and happy,” he says. “I’m actually better than I was last year. So it was hard to watch. But at the same time, it’s exciting to watch, because now I get to see what everybody else gets to see, when I have no idea what’s going on either.”
Read the rest of Jackson Fox’s interview with Parade here.