A Minnesota man felled trees behind his house when one who fell held him captive for four days, authorities said.
Jonathan Ceplecha, 59, was rescued Monday after the Redwood County’s sheriff’s office received an 911 call about a person stuck under a tree, the department said in a Facebook post. Ceplecha had been trapped since Thursday August 27th.
His son Miles Ceplecha wrote in a GoFundMe that the 59-year-old was on a hill in the woods behind his house in Redwood Falls, about 120 miles southwest of Minneapolis, when an oak tree he was cutting fell on him.
“In a split second, both legs were suddenly pinned under an immovable tree in a freak accident, and his torso was now half twisted as he sat upright on the floor,” his son wrote. “His legs were broken immediately and he was in tremendous pain, but without a phone and because he lived alone, there was no one to hear or see him.”
Jonathan survived by eating plants and insects and drinking his sweat and rainwater, which Miles said he had collected in his clothes.
“He maintained his sanity by breaking every day into hours and every hour into 5-minute segments. As someone of heavy faith, he often prayed to himself and tried to distract himself from panic by meditating and rhythms invented from which he could follow from morning to evening, “says GoFundMe.
Family members had worried when Jonathan didn’t answer their calls and didn’t show up for work. Jonathan’s ex-wife found him on his property and contacted the sheriff’s office.
It took almost two hours for authorities to get Jonathan out of the tree. He is now recovering in a hospital.
“I’m still in shock,” Miles Ceplecha told NBC subsidiary KARE in Minneapolis. “We’re all still shocked that he’s alive and out there alone.”
Mark Farasyn, the sheriff’s chief deputy, said he was amazed that Jonathan, a veteran, could survive.
“He had the will to live and he wasn’t ready to go,” Farasyn told the outlet. “I don’t know many people who could survive such an ordeal.”