So here’s the story playing all over the world Woman Survives Drinking Her Own Breast Milk – Really? I ask, are you serious? Now before you go crazy on me for being heartless, I am happy Susan O’Brien is OK, I’m glad she made it, it’s great to know she is safely back with her family. The thing I object to is the story line.
Susan was on what was stated as a grueling 12.5 mile race through the forest, when at some point she took a wrong turn and became lost. Night set in, it was cold and rainy, she feared for her life. I know that cold and rain are devastating to someone unprepared for it. She just had on her running clothing, so was not ready for any kind of stay in the forest in those conditions. The first question I asked when thinking about her life being saved by her own breast milk, “how long was she stranded?” The answer, a stunning 24 hours! Certainly I would be concerned about her situation, cold, rain and wind, but for goodness sakes she is not going to starve to death in 24 hours. I have lots more fat reserves on me than she does being an athlete, but certainly she could go a week or two.
I don’t want to take anything away from her, she tried to do all she could think of to stay alive, but all the press in the world is running the story that she was saved by her breast milk. I think she was saved by being in good physical condition, and by doing what she could to isolate herself from the effects of the elements, and by thinking positively about getting back to her family.
I guess I can’t blame the press, the story does make a great headline. I read through all the articles on her that I could find, no one seemed to bother to consider that other factors probably saved her. Readers are left with the understanding that she would have totally run out of energy and died had Susan not as she says, “had a bit of my milk.” Susan believes it helped her, and perhaps it did, mentally at least.
I think the stories that ran should at least have raised the possibility that other factors may have contributed to her survival, instead of leaving the false impression that the milk did it. We are not given much detail in what I could find, but she did say she kept covering herself in dirt (and debris I would suppose), most likely to get away from the wind.
Having followed survival stories for the better part of my life, I have heard of some amazing things. It seems to me that when I was younger, the press did this amazing thing called, “investigation” that seems to be lacking these days much of the time. It used to be a reporter would try to find a back story, find some additional detail, nowadays it’s just retyping whatever is put out. A reader should be educated in reading a story, otherwise what is the purpose in even writing it?
A reader for example could at least be given the information that in Susan’s predicament her most important thing to do for the night at least is to shelter herself the best she could to avoid hypothermia. Wet and cold are bad enough, but add a little wind and things turn deadly in a hurry. It could be mentioned perhaps some simple sheltering she could have done without any tools.
So anyway that’s my two bits on the story, have a great day, until next time this is Perry Peacock, “simplifying survival”