Bruce’s medical problem on last week’s episode of Survivor Panama was eventually treated, but it took eight hours for him to get medical care.
First, Bruce tells TV Guide, the camera crew was more interested in Shane and Courtney’s bitching about not being selected for the reward challenge, so that “[b]y the time the camera crews had come back with the producers and medics, it had been three hours and it was pitch-dark.” At that point, “it was too late for them to bring a helicopter, so they loaded me into the speedboat.” He says that “[The trip to proper medical care] took five hours. It was worse than a rattlesnake bite.”
Once he was treated, he says, doctors “stuck a catheter in me and over a quart and a half of urine exploded out. They were shocked and said I could have been dead.” Bruce suggests that was partially the fault of people on the crew, who “kept telling me to drink more water, and it was like a water balloon getting bigger and bigger. That was a big problem. Then I thought I was having appendicitis, or my abdominal artery was going to explode. My dad passed away from that.”
While Bruce has healed fully, he still had trauma in his life when he returned. After “teaching for 34 years,” he says that his assistant principal told him “that if I don’t show up for school the next day, he was going to ask the school board to terminate me permanently. I asked for a leave of absence with no pay.” That wasn’t granted, so when he returned from the show, he “was suspended for five more days, so I lost two months of pay. I still am baffled by one man’s decision. I love teaching, though, so it didn’t make me bitter. I’m back and having the best time with my kids.”