On Jan. 28, the pilot of a solo flight that departed from the city of Alenquer in the Brazilian state of Para disappeared. The flight was supposed to land in Almeirim, which is about 40 miles away.
Instead, 36-year-old Antonio Sena had to make an emergency landing in the Amazon rainforest after an apparent mechanical failure, The Sun reported.
Sena was able to escape before the Cessna 210 caught fire from the inside. He was left with just a knapsack containing bread and a few other belongings.
After search and rescue teams were unable to locate him, he decided that he must set out into the jungle to seek help. Sena wandered through the Amazon for four weeks before finally coming across a group of chestnut pickers.
“I was walking in the jungle and spotted a white tarpaulin, which I pulled back to find a basket with chestnuts in by some tools and water,” Sena said, according to the Daily Mail. “I followed the trail until I came across the people who raised the alarm.”
Soon after he was located, his mother received a call confirming that her son was alive.
After 36 days of searching, Sena was finally reunited with his family in an emotional moment broadcast on Brazilian TV.
“The only thing that kept me strong and enabled me to come out of that situation alive was the love I have for my family, the desire I had to see my parents and my brother and sister again,” Sena said, according to The Sun. “It’s a story of love and faith.”
He told a Brazilian television station just how serious his situation was.
“My priorities were always to look for water and try to look for food,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “I knew I was facing a life or death situation.”
For many people, death would have been the more likely outcome. The Amazon jungle is infested with snakes and crocodiles, and food can be very hard to come by. The Sun reported that Sena ate bird eggs to stay alive.
In addition, gang violence can be a threat in the Amazon. In 2017, The Sun reported on a British woman who was robbed, stabbed and thrown into the river while still alive by seven members of a drug gang.
Locals agreed that Sena’s survival was unlikely, calling his rescue a “true miracle,” according to the Daily Mail.
Luckily, the chestnut pickers that he encountered were friendly and were able to get help.
After the family reunion, Sena was taken to the hospital. Amazingly, he suffered only minor injuries and dehydration despite losing about 56 pounds. He has since been released from the hospital, the Daily Mail reported.
This story is an incredible example of the perseverance and instinct God has blessed us with. Despite all odds, Sena survived over five weeks in one of the most dangerous parts of the world with very few supplies.
Instead of accepting death as his fate, Sena fought tirelessly to see his family again. His survival can be an example to all about the importance of the ones we hold dear to us.
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