Jeremy McGill had to go back to the spot that changed his life.That spot was in China at a tourist area known as Wild Elephant Valley.
In January 2008, McGill was attacked by four elephants, one of which bit down on him, severely injuring his intestines, ribs, lungs and heart. After a grueling time in two different Chinese hospitals, McGill made it back to the United States, and has nearly made a full recovery.
He came back, got his masters degree, wrote a second book, got married to wife Bethany, had a child named Journey, but he needed to go back.
“I wanted to tell the guys ‘thank you’ for carrying me out,” said McGill. McGill also said that he wanted to give them Bibles, which was illegal in China until recently.
McGill had 14 men carrying him out, up over a cliff to a road, and drive him over an hour to a hospital. They had placed a bucket over an open wound in his stomach that had left his intestines exposed. The police told them they could not use the road to go to the hospital, but the men insisted he had to go now. Their actions saved his life.
So he made the trip back to China, and went back the area where it happened. Through a translator, he told one of the people why he was there and who he was looking for.
“He said ‘I am one of the guys that carried you out’” said McGill.
McGill was able to meet around 10 of the guys that helped. He then traveled to the hospital where he was treated, and a small press conference was held. He gave the men Bibles there.
McGill said he wouldn’t be back without the help of the people of Mt. Juliet.
“Mt. Juliet, the people have been wonderful,” said McGill. McGill was left with a $13,000 bill at the hospital in Beijing, and donations from residents helped bring him back to the United States.
McGill continues to write, as he is working on his third book. He is in between teaching jobs, which is what took him to China in the first place. He has done talks for various churches and groups, recounting his story, and how his faith has affected his experience. He has also started a construction business called Elephant Man Construction.
You can read more about McGill on his website, and see the episodes of “I’m Alive” on Animal Planet and “I Was Bitten” on Discovery Channel that covered his experience. McGill and wife Bethany are expecting their second child, River.