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After a few seconds, contestant Lauren O'Connell regained consciousness

By Jodi Guglielmi
April 04, 2019 09:54 AM
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A contestant experienced a scary medical emergency on Survivor: Edge of Extinction.

Contestant Lauren O’Connell fainted while participating in the individual immunity challenge on Wednesday night’s episode.

O’Connell found herself feeling light-headed during the challenge, which consisted of players standing on a small perch with a block balanced between their head and the top of the platform. As the challenge narrowed down to the final three contestants, O’Connell suddenly began to sway as her eyes glazed over.

“I can’t see anything,” she said under her breath. “I’m about to black out.”

She then fell unconscious and dropped to the ground.

Host Jeff Probst immediately called the medical team and doctors rushed to her side. After a few seconds, O’Connell regained consciousness and the medical team cleared her.

“Hey, Lauren. You just fainted,” one of the doctors said to her when she woke up.

“Damnit,” she replied.

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Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

Probst also made sure she was okay, saying, “Lauren, I’m just checking. You’re good, right?”

“Yeah, I’m just embarrassed,” she replied.

After the episode aired, O’Connell thanked fans for their support on social media.

“I am overwhelmed by all of the love y’all are sending my way!! My heart is so thankful for this #survivor family and every single one of you that make this whole experience so much more raw and powerful,” she wrote. “I’m truly falling for ALL of you hehehe. thank you for another great week xxx.”

Probst also spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the incident, explaining why he allowed the challenge to continue while doctors tended to O’Connell.

“If at any point [Dr. Joe] had told me to stop the challenge, we’d immediately stop,” he said. “Because the challenge was static and nobody was going anywhere, I just kept checking in with him waiting for his decision. Fortunately, it was only a few moments before she woke up and Dr. Joe quickly indicated to me that she was fine and we could continue with the challenge.”

He also commended O’Connell for her response to learning she had passed out, pointing to her true dedication to the game.

“Maybe the most significant impression of the entire event was Lauren’s reaction the second she woke up. No fear at all, only frustration,” he said. “She wasn’t worried about her health in the slightest, she was just mad that she passed out. That says it all. She is one of the most competitive players we’ve ever had, and she manages to play very hard while still being very kind. That’s a rare combination of human.”

Survivor airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on CBS.