SYDNEY - The Australian woman who survived more than two weeks in a rugged Australian rainforest will undergo surgery on Friday to remove stones and splinters embedded in her feet.
Shannon Fraser, a 30-year-old mother of three, is also being treated for badly burnt skin which has turned black, her brother Dylan Fraser told the Brisbane Courier-Mail.
"She's still in shock and traumatised,'' he said.
"Shannon won't be speaking publicly to anyone until she is feeling well enough.
"Doctors are still very worried about her physical and mental state after such a hectic ordeal," he added.
The family had been inundated with media requests for a paid exclusive tell-all about her miraculous tale of survival, he told the Brisbane Courier-Mail.
Fraser went missing on Sept 21 near the remote Josephine Falls in Queensland state after becoming disorientated, wearing just leggings, a shirt and flip flops. But she stumbled out on Wednesday alive after surviving a chase by a 2m-long freshwater crocodile and eating small fish, officials and reports said.
She was covered in cuts, welts, bruises and insect bites, the Brisbane Courier-Mail said. She reportedly lost nearly 17kg during her ordeal.
She was located only 30 metres from the swimming hole, near Innisfail, where she was reported missing.
Police say they are desperate to speak to Fraser to find out how she survived 17 days in the wild while not being found by their search parties. They believe she somehow managed to travel outside the area being scoured by search crews, according to Brisbane Times.
"I would say that she certainly was not in the area we were searching," Queensland Police Inspector Rhys Newton told the Brisbane Times.
He said 800 man-hours was spent searching for Fraser, involving crews on quad bikes, on foot and in helicopters.
She would have had to have walked "kilometres" to be outside the search zone, he said, including through "dense jungle"
"The probability of someone doing that I'd say is quite small," he said.
ABC news quoted a survival expert as saying beating loneliness and despair would have been as important as a fresh water supply for Fraser in lasting 17 days alone.
"Very few people actually spend more than 24 hours completely alone in their entire lives so doing it for 17 days in an unfamiliar environment is going to be a challenge for anybody," former Australian Defence Force survival instructor Nick Vroomans said.
He reportedly said the human body was capable of great feats of endurance.
"We're all wired for survival every one of us, otherwise we wouldn't be here," he said.
"We are an amazingly adaptable animal and it's not until people find themselves in these situations they realise just how resilient we really are."