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.
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.
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.
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.