Hermit Meets 21st Century After Using Emergency Telephone
A 70-year-old woman who spent her entire life in the Siberian wilderness was finally introduced to the 21st century after being airlifted to a hospital for leg pain.
When Agafia Lykova began experiencing debilitating pain dangerously restricting her physical movement, she called for help using an emergency satellite phone. A helicopter then flew her to a hospital about 600 miles north of the Kazakhstan-Mongolia border.
Lykova was born in the wilderness after her family fled from the Stalinist USSR and religious persecution roughly 80 years ago. Lykova's family are "Old Believers," a sect that split from the Russian Orthodox Church.
"The Old Believers were killed because of their beliefs. Children were losing their fathers," Lykova told Vice News at her home in 2013. "That's when we removed ourselves from materialistic society and stopped any contact with it."
Her last family member passed away in 1988, and last May, her one friend and fellow hermit, 77-year-old geologist Yerofei Sedov, died. Sedov's son helped her bury his body, and Lykova has been completely alone ever since.
"She did the right thing. He died but it was rather warm weather so I'm sure she didn't have to wait until someone arrived to take his body. I'm grateful for that, since now he will forever be on his treasured Yerinat," he told the Siberian Times.
Lykova's story first surfaced in the late 1970s after geologists discovered the remote family while flying overhead. When contacted, the family revealed they had no idea World War II had even happened.