Lisa Whelchel's wish to be on "Survivor: Philippines" came true this year, but it may not have been everything she hoped, according to her brother. Justice Coleman, Whelchel's younger brother, visited her on the set and said he "was not prepared to see her at that level of desperation."
"It was immediately obvious she had hit rock bottom," Coleman told People magazine. "I wasn't expecting her to be at the end of her rope. I almost didn't recognize her. She looked absolutely ragged: physically and emotionally torn up. I was imagining a big smile on her face, since she was so deep into the game and doing so well but she started crying so hard. I was legitimately concerned for her."
Fans know, though, that Whelchel pulled through and "survived" her ordeal, though it's unknown who came away the winner of "Survivor: Philippines." Whelchel said before she left for the show that she loved the game and "was born to play it."
The actress often relied on her faith to get her through the tougher moments of the game and made no qualms about her religious beliefs. However, at the same time "Survivor" aired, news broke that Whelchel and her husband of 24 years had divorced, making it an even harder year for the Christian actress who often spoke about having a faithful, Christian marriage.
Just last month, Whelchel announced that she was battling West Nile virus, which she said, "takes a year to recover. I'm fine, just tired," she assured fans. But the virus certainly did not help Whelchel's physical stamina, which was severely tested during her time on "Survivor."
Through it all, though, Whelchel has maintained a sense of grace and humor. She took to Twitter to announce the publication of her brother's article in People but warned fans, "Ignore the hideous picture of the crazy woman doing the 'ugly cry.' But my brother is awesome!"