Toward the end of last season, fan favorite Sue Aikens took a terrible spill on her snowmobile when she hit a rough spot on the ice and was thrown several feet. Fortunately, the Life Below Zero crew was right there, and besides catching the incident on film, they were able to render much needed assistance to the injured Aikens. They transported Sue back to camp and due to the extent of her injuries, Aikens flew out of Kavik the next day. Ultimately it took two days just to get to Fairbanks, and then Sue spent three more painful and uncomfortable days in a motel room waiting for surgery. When the series returns on November 24, fans of the show will be able to see if Sue Aikens was able to continue running her remote camp in Kavik by herself, or if she ended up needing someone to come out and help her.
Sue has had a rough and painful rehabilitation so far. Recently Aikens took to her Facebook page she keeps for fans to let everyone know how she’s doing. Although Sue has 14 screws, 2 titanium plates, and a lot of surgical wire holding everything together, she is still able to maintain an upbeat attitude. Aikens has even been able to do some meet-and-greets at a few festivals, one she mentioned was in Phoenix, and she hoped to attend after meeting with her doctor.
— Life Below Zero (@LifeBelowZeroTV) November 1, 2015
“Ok people have been asking how I am healing up so…. To sum it up it has been 7 procedures in 8 months and although the bent wing isnt supposed to be out of the sling yet…. Like the T-shirt says…. I dont give a fox, just had to wave and say Thank you all for caring and being patient! As i finish healing dont think I am forgetting to do awesome things… I am just learning to do more of them with a bent wing hehehe!! Wheeeeee!!”
Right after the accident, Sue spoke with Reality Blurred about what she remembers. Aikens stated that at first she “shut down” before taking what she called a personal inventory to see if she could safely move. Sue knew right off she had snapped her collar bone because she heard it break. Since then, Aikens has spent part of her summer having surgeries and receiving therapy for her injuries. Sue mentioned in an August 25 Facebook post that she was having another surgery and hopefully that was the last one.
One thing Sue Aikens was worried about is being away from camp for too long, especially in the summer. Sue lost a lot of revenue while away seeking treatment, which could be devastating because the camp must make money in order for Aikens to maintain her license there. “I need to not be in the middle of any more procedures,” Sue told Reality Blurred, because “I still have a camp to run.”
— Life Below Zero (@LifeBelowZeroTV) November 16, 2015
To make matters worse, Sue’s dog Ermie passed away on October 15. Already in her senior years, Ermie became her close companion. Along with the foxes that Sue loves, Ermie kept Sue company during the long Alaskan winters. If fans would like to see what conditions are like at Sue Aikens’ camp, she has two cams set up, which can be viewed through her Kavik website. They update every 15 minutes and since it is winter, there is currently some snow on the ground. Perhaps Sue will get lucky and there will be another mild winter this year.
Life Below Zero will also feature other cast members such as Chip and Agnes Hailstone and their family; Glenn Villeneuve; Erik and Martha Mae Salitan; and newcomer Jessie Holmes. Are you a fan of the show? The season premiere titled The Resurrection airs on Thursday, November 24, at 9 p.m. ET on the National Geographic Channel. Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions below.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]