'Survivor' Contestant Medically Evacuated After Freak Back Injury
By Jennifer Drysdale
Survivor kicked off their 37th season on Wednesday with David vs. Goliath -- but right out of the gate, the David tribe seemed down on their luck.
Contestant Pat Cusack had to be medically evacuated after suffering a freak back injury following the season's first elimination challenge.
"The boat slams down on one of the waves, and we hear a crack... at first I thought Pat just had hurt his back, maybe tweaked it a bit," his tribemate, Gabby explained, as Pat was shown arriving on the beach in a stretcher.
"I'm scared!" he cried out, as the medical team did their best to evaluate him on the scene. Survivor host Jeff Probst then touched down to deliver what was sure to be bad news.
"A boat ride back to camp is very normal, we've never had anybody injured," Jeff insisted of the routine transportation of castaways back to their beach after elimination games. "This is severe."
Dr. Joe revealed the team was worried Pat may have fractured his back, and decided that it was imperative he leave the game for proper treatment.
"You can't take me, I can't leave. I can't go out this way... I don't want to quit!" Pat yelled, but the decision was made, and a helicopter was called to take him to the hospital.
Pat's tribe, already down from losing the day's elimination challenge and worried about heading to tribal council, tried to keep their spirits up following Pat's evacuation. "I feel like Pat would want to see us succeed and stick together as much as we can," Gabby said.
The episode concluded with an update from Pat, who agreed that his leaving the game was ultimately the best. "My health is bigger than this game," he declared. Pat was treated for his injuries and has made a full recovery.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. See more on the show's medical evacuations in the video below.