Bees, berries: How the Ohio man survived on Mt. St. Helens

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Matthew Matheny spent nearly a week on Mount St. Helens with hardly any food and water. 

He was rescued Wednesday after he went missing on Aug. 9 — but now the question people have is how did he survive?

By eating berries and bees that were stinging him, according to the rescuer who found Matheny.

He said Matheny could barely move and looked like he was about to die.

The 40-year-old who’s from Warren, Ohio was visiting friends in Oregon. He was staying with Michael and Natalie Bush, who let him borrow their Subaru on Thursday, so he could explore the area. The Subaru was found Saturday, unoccupied.

Natalie and Michael are both in disbelief that Matheny was able to survive — calling him a “trooper.” They also said he was stung between 40-50 times, but every time a bee would sting him, he would smack it and eat it.

“He’s been a trooper,” Michael said. “Obviously I thought we might not see him again. I heard he’s doing great. He’s talking, he still has a sense of humor. He’s eating bees, he’s eating huckleberries — the guy is an animal.”

Matheny’s parents — Linda and Carney — arrived in Oregon on Sunday after learning their son was missing. 

Linda said her son is strong and fit and was a Boy Scout as a kid.

“We think that may have saved him,” she said. 

Linda expressed the family’s appreciation for the tireless work of multiple search and rescue organizations, especially the Volcano Rescue Team. She said the most encouraging parts of their days waiting was when the search and rescue volunteers arrived each morning. 

KOIN 6 News will have more information later in the day 

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