Elon Musk once caught malaria on safari and was ‘hours from death,’ book says – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Elon Musk once caught malaria on safari and was ‘hours from death,’ book says

Elon Musk did take some time off in July 2022 when he visited the Greek island of Mykonos.

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Walter Isaacson’s biography of Elon Musk shines new light on the world’s richest person. Musk once took a safari during a vacation to his native South Africa but contracted malaria.While Musk was in hospital, colleagues found he’d taken out a $100 million life insurance policy.

The new biography of Elon Musk might explain one reason why the world’s richest person seems to dislike vacations: he contracted malaria while on safari in South Africa in 2000.

Walter Isaacson, whose biography of Elon Musk was published this week, was given access to the Tesla and SpaceX CEO over the past two years. One chapter details his near-death experience.

After being ousted as CEO of PayPal by Peter Thiel in October 2000, Musk took what Isaacson said was his first real vacation from work, first traveling to Brazil to visit his cousin and then on to his native South Africa for a wedding. It was Musk’s first time back since leaving for Canada aged 17, Isaacson wrote.

After spending time with his family in Pretoria, Musk and his then-wife Justine Musk went to a game reserve, according to the book.

Peter Thiel and Elon Musk with X.com credit in October 2000.

Paul Sakuma/AP

On his return to Palo Alto, California in January 2001, Isaacson writes that Musk felt dizzy, experienced recurring waves of chills, and started throwing up in an emergency room. He was wrongly diagnosed with viral meningitis and his condition continued to worsen until Musk’s “pulse was barely perceptible,” per the book.

A doctor with expertise in infectious diseases passed by Musk’s bed at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City and realized he had falciparum malaria, a potentially fatal form that can affect the central nervous system or cause “acute respiratory distress,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“He was actually only hours from death,” the head of human resources at X.com (which became Paypal) wrote in an email to Musk’s former business partners Peter Thiel and Max Levchin.

Isaacson goes on to describe how Musk was put in intensive care, and given intravenous infusions and massive doses of doxycycline.

He was also treated with chloroquine, a drug which he would later suggest – with no medical basis – be used to treat the COVID-19 virus.

Recalling the ordeal earlier this year, Elon Musk and his mother, Maye, tweeted that “modern medicine” had saved his life.

“I’d be dead from malaria if not for chloroquine & doxycycline,” Musk tweeted. His mother described it as “a terrifying time,” and agreed that ”modern medicine saved you.”

I remember your malaria infection very clearly. You were unconscious, yellow and shivering for days. Tubes were going in and out of you. It was a terrifying time. Modern medicine saved you. https://t.co/abOUPcEufT

— Maye Musk (@mayemusk) June 18, 2023

Musk spent 10 days in intensive care and it took him five months to fully recover, Isaacson writes.

While he was in hospital, Musk’s then-colleagues found he’d taken out a life insurance policy worth $100 million on behalf of X.com.

“If he had died, all of our financial problems were going to be solved,” Thiel told Isaacson.

X.com was an online bank that was cofounded by Musk in 1999. The company merged with another payment system, Confinity, which was co-founded by Thiel and Levchin, and was renamed PayPal.

Musk told Isaacson that he learned two lessons from his near-death experience: “Vacations will kill you. Also, South Africa – that place is still trying to destroy me.”

Shortly before the visit to his homeland, he’d taken another trip that ended badly. Eight months after their wedding, Elon and Justine Musk finally went on their honeymoon in September 2000, which had been delayed by X.com‘s merger with PayPal. But amid turmoil at the company, the couple had to book last-minute flights back to the US. Musk was ultimately ousted as CEO and replaced by Thiel.

“That’s the problem with vacations,” Musk told Fortune 13 years later.

Isaacson’s biography has also garnered attention for revealing that the SpaceX CEO interfered with a Ukrainian offensive attack in Crimea by disabling nearby Starlink coverage, angering Ukrainian officials.

Other revelations include that he has a third child with his former partner Grimes.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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