On August 27th, Jonathan Ceplecha, a 59-year-old veteran and teacher, was cutting down oak trees nearby his house when one suddenly fell on him, instantly pinning him to the ground and crushing both of his legs.
He reportedly did not have his cell phone on him at the time of the accident and was just far enough away from his house in the woods where no one could spot him. In a Facebook post, the Redwood County Sherriff’s office stated that “Ceplecha had been pinned under the tree since Thursday, 08/27/20 – over 100 hours.”
Jonathan’s son, Miles, reported that Jonathan “ate plants and insects within arm’s reach, drank sweat and rainwater that he collected in his clothes, and covered his head in his shirt during the nights to keep the insects off as he slept”—all to stay alive. After he didn’t show up on the first day of school where he teaches, authorities were contacted. Later that evening, on August 31st, Jonathan’s ex-wife found him.
Authorities carefully lifted the log off of Jonathan’s legs before airlifting him to the hospital where he’s already undergone multiple surgeries.
Jonathan wrote on the Gofundme page that he set up for his father that “it is likely that both of his legs will be saved, but he faces a long road to full physical recovery and his feet are still in bad condition.”
The fact that Jonathan survived is truly a miracle, and the fact that it is likely that both of his legs will be saved is an even greater miracle. Redwood County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Mark Farasyn said that Jonathan “had the will to live and wasn’t ready to go.”
“I don’t know many people who could survive an ordeal like that,” said Farasyn.