Lost backpacker leaves hospital

July 17, 2009 at 11:06 AM
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SYDNEY, July 17 (UPI) -- A British backpacker who survived 12 days alone in Australia's Blue Mountains has left a hospital after thanking staff members and rescuers.

Jamie Neale, 19, of London, nearly froze to death after becoming lost in the Australian bush with only a lightweight jacket, gloves and a hat to keep him warm, The Australian reported Friday.

"There is nothing, nothing at all to suggest that this is anything other than the greatest tale of survival that we've seen in the mountains," said Tony McWhirter, superintendent of Blue Mountains police.

Scans of Neale's lungs revealed "bubbles" of fluid, lending weight to his story of sleeping in freezing conditions.

Because of the bubbles, Neale was advised not to fly home to England for several months.

A hospital staff member told The Times of London that Neale will travel by train across Australian from Sydney to Perth where he will stay with relatives until he can return home.

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