PNG attack victim Matt Scheurich back in Cairns Hospital
UPDATE: The New Zealander who survived a horrific arrow attack in the jungles of Papua New Guinea is back in hospital in Cairns.
Matt Scheurich, 28, survived being speared twice in the chest by arrows, while his French partner was attacked by a tribesman at a remote village in the Western Province on June 19.
A Queensland Health spokeswoman told the Cairns Post the young artist had been readmitted to Cairns Base Hospital this morning, fighting an infection left by the attack.
Matt had suffered two arrow wounds and deep cuts to his face caused by thrown rocks.
He removed the arrows, and lost a significant amount of blood.
His partner suffered human bites, cuts, scratches and bruises.
The French woman, 29, had been undertaking her anthropology PhD research at Siabi, in the North Fly District, with the Febi tribe.
It is understood the tribesman had wanted to marry the French woman.
The couple were able to radio for help, and were picked up by a missionary air service and transported to a nearby hospital at Kiunga, where they were both treated by two volunteer doctors from the Sydney-based Australian Doctors International.
One of the doctors donated half a litre of his own blood to keep his patient alive, before Matt was airlifted to Cairns Base Hospital early last week.
Matt was only discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.
Speaking from New Zealand, Matt’s uncle, Tony Scheurich told The Cairns Post the family was overjoyed his "hardy" nephew and partner had survived the horrifying ordeal.
Mr Scheurich said his nephew had a natural talent for speaking to anyone, no matter what culture they were from.
"He’s a gregarious guy,’’ he said.
"He’s quite happy to just rock up and have a chat to someone. He’s a very easygoing fellow.
"That’s just part of Matt. He’s a very sensitive person, very aware.’’
Matt had moved from New Zealand’s North Island to Australia early last year, working for a design firm in Melbourne.
According to his website, Matt has a passion for "making cool stuff", and he journeyed to PNG in March this year to live in the jungle for about six months.
Matt’s survival story has gone on to make international headlines. However, both he and his partner have declined to be interviewed.
Australian Doctors International general manager Delene Evans described the attack as highly unusual, the first time she had ever encountered such an incident.
The non-profit aid organisation has been working in Western Province of PNG for nine years.
"Locals generally are welcoming and friendly and want to share their culture," Ms Evans said.
The ADI specialises in health patrols in the Western and New Ireland provinces, including medical treatment to save lives and reduce suffering; training for local health workers, and school and community health education.
Western Province has only 14 local doctors, all urban based, for 212,000 people spread across mountainous jungle terrain.
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Survivor: Matt Scheurich's "hardy" nature allowed the New Zealander to keep calm after he and his partner were attacked in Papua New Guinea.