Teen Covered In Leeches: How Did Matthew Allen Survive Blood Sucking Creatures?

By Megan Schaefer on January 29, 2013 10:47 AM EST

teen, covered, leeches, mathew allen, australia, missing, found
Blood sucking bugs were found all over Mathew Allen. (Photo: Reuters)

A teen was found in the woods disorientated and covered in leeches. Yikes. After two months of being missing, 18-year-old Matthew Allen was found in the bushland near his home in Westleigh, Australia.

After extensive searches by police and emergency services, they failed to find the boy. Local hikers discovered the teen who was under a bush.

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''If the first time that he is seen is at 2 p.m. on Saturday obviously he must have kept out of the way of people,'' Detective Acting Inspector Glyn Baker said. ''I think he is in such a state that he couldn't actually get up and move. He's not that far from home at Westleigh, but there's no indication at all that food was being pilfered from the house. He was not living under any shelter and was exposed to the full conditions since reported being missing.''

Allen was allegedly living in the bushlands for two months, out in the open and unprotected.

According to KPRL11, Allen went missing during a record heat wave when Sydney endured temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius.

Allen was said to be suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, his feet and lower legs were suffering from gangrene  ... and oh yeah, he was covered in leeches from head to toe that were sucking out his blood.

"He was in such a poor state. He was completely exhausted, completely dehydrated, suffered significant weight loss, somewhere up to 50 percent. He was suffering from partial blindness and he has leeches all over him," Baker said.

A rescue helicopter took Allen to a nearby hospital where he reunited with his family.

"His family are ecstatic that he's alive and that he's well," Baker told the news station. "He's been reunited with them and they've been Hornsby Hospital to see him."

ABC reported that Allen told his rescuers that he had survived on water from a creek bed that was almost dry.

Local law enforcement were amazed that the boy was found and thrilled that everything turned out the way it did.

"I couldn't believe it," Detective Senior Constable Ben Wrigley of the Hornsby police station told 9News.

Yeah ... neither could I.

Leeches are easily recognizable for their worm-like shape. These guys are hermaphrodites, which mean that have the reproductive organs of both male and female sexes. Also, the most important thing to know about these little suckers is that they have TWO suckers. One at each end of the body; double the sucker, double the pain.

The majority of these guys are found in freshwater which means that is you enter an infected body of water with leeches in it, you will most likely have them attached to you.

A scary fact about leeches if that if you drink infected water, which I assume Allen did, they could enter your body, invading your nose or mouth. Hirudiniasis is when one or more leeches enter via an airway and cause blockage leading to asphyxiation.

Although leeches could be use in medicine for "hirudotherapy," which is sucking out blood clots, I prefer to stay away from these slimy little bugs.

Yuck.

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