Brazilian Boy, 8, Survives 8 Days in Hole Eating Leaves and Mud

An eight-year old Brazilian boy ate leaves and mud and drank rainwater to survive eight days inside a 20-feet-deep  hole, with a 4.5 feet opening. To stand the cold at night he covered his body with earth.

Identified only by his initials for being a minor, according to Brazilian law, M.P.M. fell in the hole on December 9 while looking for a shortcut through a ranch on his way to a friend’s house and only was found by chance one week later, on December 16.

He was discovered by the ranch owner while inspecting his property. Valdeci Sobrinho saw the boy’s tennis shoes and shirt that he had thrown out  in the hope that somebody would see them. Screaming alone didn’t help and digging wasn’t taking him any place.

Apparently he screamed a lot, but nobody heard him even though there was a house not more than 150 feet away from the place where he fell. The incident occurred in Senador Canedo, in the Greater Goiânia, the capital of Goiás state, in the Brazilian midwest.

Valdeci Sobrinho, told reporters later that he was surprised to see all those clothes next to the hole and decided to look inside. After talking to the boy and giving him something to eat, Sobrinho called the Fire Department to help rescue the youngster.

"I saw inside there and saw two legs," said the rancher. "I thought to myself: someone threw a body here. But I soon noticed that there was a boy inside. When I found him all he asked me was to give him something to eat."

Taken to the Materno Infantil (Maternal Child) hospital in Goiânia, M.P.M. appeared very gaunt with several wounds mostly in his feet. Doctors in the hospital he is being cared for revealed that he is being recovering little by little and that he still feels very hungry and only gets excited when he talks what he wishes to do as soon as he gets a little better: to play video games.

"He came in," said doctor Ivan Isac, "undernourished, dehydrated and with a very big emotional trauma."

He got some toys from the hospital staff and the city’s guardianship council is following the case up close. After leaving the hospital he will be taken to a foster home while authorities decide if his own family is able to care for the little boy.

M.P.M. has already told what he wants for Christmas: "A red little car with remote control, that kind that you press the button and it starts running fast."

The latest medical tests show that he is doing well. The x-ray didn’t reveal anything wrong, his kidneys are working well and he is behaving quite normally. Only his potassium is below normal and electrolytes need to be replaced fast.

"Some wounds are still troublesome, but nothing serious," said doctor Saulo Rodrigues, the hospital’s manager.

He enjoys yogurt more than anything else and has been eating rice, beans, meat, fruit and vegetables. His goal at the moment is to reach 55 lbs. 

The little boy is very smart for his age. He is a second grader at State School Benedito Rodrigues de Moraes. He says that he likes to read, count and tell stories.

"If I were a super-hero, I would be Superman," he revealed. "This way I would be able to leave that hole flying."

Authorities suspect that he was running away from home. But asked about this by reporters he refused to talk about his parents and life at home.

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