Fun with Leeches

Police released this image of Matthew Allen, 18, when he disappeared from his home near Sydney in November.

Leeches loved this young man (courtesy of The Australian)

One of my favorite adaptations of the work of horror master Stephen King is the 1986 film Stand by Me. 

The story follows four friends in 1950s Maine who trek across a great distance to search for the body of a young boy who was hit by a train. It stars some of America’s young and burgeoning talent, including Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland and River Phoenix, who would tragically die from a drug overdose in 1993.

In the movie, there is a scene where the boys cross a swamp to shave some time off their hike. When they finally emerge from the murky water, they are covered with leeches. Poor Wil Wheaton’s character even pulls one from inside his underwear, the sight of which causes him to faint.

Believe it or not, but these guys had it easy.

On Saturday, Australian authorities finally found 18-year-old Matthew Allen after he was reported missing for more than two months. Allen was last seen on November 27 near his home in Westleigh, a suburb not far from Sydney.

Two hikers making their way through the dense bush spotted a “disoriented man” near Westleigh and reported him to police, who caught up with Allen a short time later. According to local media, he was covered in leeches and mosquito bites, emaciated and even had gangrene in his lower legs and feet.

“He was in such a poor state,” Detective Glyn Baker told reporters after the rescue. “He was completely exhausted, completely dehydrated, suffered significant weight loss, somewhere up to 50%. He was suffering from partial blindness and he had leeches all over him.”


Leech! (Photo credit: d4vidbruce)

Eat your heart out, Wil Wheaton.

Allen was rushed to a local hospital and reunited with his family, who lost track of their son during a record heat wave several months ago. Fortunately for them all, he was able to survive by drinking the stagnant water from a nearly dry creek bed.

Detectives are still waiting to speak with Allen and like me, believe there could be more to his story. Of course, the important thing is that he made it home safely and if he’s lucky, he will never have to deal with leeches again.

Whether he pulled one of the leeches from his genitals or not, I have no idea. So perhaps Wil Wheaton still has “one up” on him…

Posted on January 29, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Poor guy! And I am with ya there on Stand By Me, it was just on tv the other night, one of my favs 🙂

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