Actor's life-or-death flight to Australia from PNG

 

Hollywood heart-throb Zac Efron has survived an extraordinary medical emergency while shooting an upcoming TV series in Papua New Guinea.

The 32-year-old High School Musical star turned reality TV adventurer was transported from PNG to Australia by a local medevac crew last week after he fell ill to what is believed to be a form of ­typhoid or similar bacterial ­infection.

Sources say the Hollywood A-lister was initially flown to Brisbane Airport before being rushed to the private St Andrews War Memorial Hospital in Spring Hill where he was treated for several days.

Zac Efron was flown to Australia for medical treatment after becoming severely ill in Papua New Guinea. Picture: Instagram
Zac Efron was flown to Australia for medical treatment after becoming severely ill in Papua New Guinea. Picture: Instagram

It is understood that as he was a US citizen travelling on an emergency visa, Efron was treated at a private hospital where care is not paid for by taxpayers.

Efron had been in PNG for parts of the year filming his TV series Killing Zac Efron, which he is producing and starring in himself.

Styled as a type of Man v Wild adventure series, the show sees The Greatest Showman star venturing "deep into the jungles of a remote, dangerous island to carve his own name in expedition history".

It's understood Efron was in the middle of the shoot - during which he went "off grid" and rid himself of all modern luxuries - when he fell ill.

Zac Efron in Papua New Guinea where he is filming a new TV series. Picture: Facebook
Zac Efron in Papua New Guinea where he is filming a new TV series. Picture: Facebook

Contacted for comment, Dr Glenn McKay for the Medical Rescue Group - which oversaw Efron's flight from PNG to Brisbane - said: "I can't discuss any confidential patient information. I can confirm that Medical Rescue retrieved a US citizen in his 30s from PNG to Brisbane recently for medical attention in Australia.

"He was admitted to St Andrews War Memorial Hospital in a stable condition."

After several days of treatment, it's understood Efron made it clear that he wanted to be home in Los Angeles for Christmas.

Efron pictured in Hollywood in March. He has been travelling to and from PNG. Picture: Joshua Blanchard/Getty
Efron pictured in Hollywood in March. He has been travelling to and from PNG. Picture: Joshua Blanchard/Getty

Doctors are believed to have ­assessed his condition and finally allowed him to fly home to the US on Christmas Eve.

Efron's agent, Joel Lubin at Creative Arts Agency in the US, ­declined to comment when contacted this week.

Efron's dramatic airlift ended what had been an otherwise action-packed "gap year" in PNG which the star had documented across his social media accounts.

The actor had, among other things, been photographed going on a tour down the Sepik River with local tour guides and had travelled to Yanchan Village to see a traditional skin cutting ceremony. The Killing Zac Efron television series was announced by streaming giant Quibi late last year.

Efron has been posting some pictures on his social media accounts from PNG. Picture: Facebook
Efron has been posting some pictures on his social media accounts from PNG. Picture: Facebook