Sue Aikens embodies resilience. The sole resident of Kavik, Alaska, Sue run a camp by herself and lives a completely self-sufficient life. She’s survived floods, storms and bear attacks, and stays sane living in complete solitude for much of the year. It’s hard to think of anything that can take Sue down.
On this week’s episode of Life Below Zero, we find out that Sue – contrary to popular belief – is not invincible.
Winter has arrived in Kavik, and Sue has already handled defending her camp from bears and stocking up on food. With the pre-freeze legwork completed, Sue just needs to maintain her state of living throughout the winter months, winning the war of attrition against the constant freeze. However, Mother Nature has other plans.
On one snowy day, Sue needs to reach her food, but her freezer door is snowed in. It’s a minor issue for Sue, but weeks of battling the winter has taken a toll on Sue’s health.
Sue’s strength and determination to survive in the Arctic may be limitless, but her physical mobility can’t quite keep up with her energy. And during yet another afternoon of shoveling snow, something goes wrong.
One wrong move, and Sue throws out her back. Now, her mobility is severely limited, rendering her unable to perform her daily routines. Sue needs to be mobile – to clear her runway, to fight off predators, and at the very least, to walk to her freezer. At her camp, she brews some herbal tea and hopes for the pain to subside, but quickly realizes she needs some stronger medicine.
With her camp located hundreds of miles from civilization, trekking for medicine isn’t a job Sue can complete alone. Luckily, one of her buddies with a helicopter happens to be traveling near Kavik, and agrees to pick up some medicine for Sue. The pills aren’t cheap, but Sue is willing to pay the steep price to get back on her feet fast.