Jess Buchanan was held hostage for 93 days in Somalia, before being rescued by Seal Team Six. In this episode of The Now What Podcast, she sits down with Jen and Tesha to talk about her kidnapping and time as a hostage. Jess B explores the ways that she kept hope alive until she was rescued, how she will never again be the person she was before, and what she has learned during her recovery.
(0:00) Life update from Jen and Tesha
(5:05) Introducing Jess Buchanan and her work in Africa
(13:04) The Kidnapping
(18:50) “Camping out”: Jess describes what it was like to be held hostage including what she ate, how she used the washroom, how she kept clean, and eventually getting sick
(22:32) Not Losing Hope: Jess talks about how she kept mentally strong while figuring out how to stay alive, and not go crazy.
(36:25) After the Rescue: Jess found out that she was pregnant 2 weeks after the rescue. She talks about her postpartum recovery while coping with PTSD.
(46:30) Losing My Identity: Jess found that she was a new person, and could not get back to the woman she was before, even if she wanted to.
(56:50) Jen and Tesha talk about how the podcast started.
(1:01:00) Key Takeaways: Jess shares what she hopes we can all take away from her story.
On October 25, 2011, while on a routine field mission in Somalia, working as the Education Advisor for her non-governmental organization, Jessica was abducted at gunpoint and held for ransom by a group of Somali pirates for 93 days. Forced to live outdoors in deplorable conditions, starved, and terrorized by more than two dozen gangsters, Jessica’s health steadily deteriorated until, by order of President Obama, she was rescued by the elite SEAL Team VI on January 25, 2012.
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