Stating the obvious, but NH gets a LOT of people this time of year; with enough boo-boos you're bound to get some outliers inhow people respond. The newspaper reporting can in fairness also not capture exactly where they were physically, either...sometimes. It's fascinating to me, though, because I've seen chi chi women who are definitely not into roughing it deal with painful injuries (ACLs, shoulders, etc.) very stoically, and psuedo-rugged types who talk a good game babble worse than a 5 year old learning to ride a bike.
Cognitively, the guy may never have done anything physical, may never have felt that discomfort, may have viewed the woods as stressful, and so may have been in a version of panic. Thumbs can hurt a lot. So what...MAN UP! A good rule of "thumb" is if you're walking around comfortably, not spurting blood, can remember where you live and don't seem punchy, and on a trail, walk TF out.
I think the moral here is that stoic chi chi women are hot...sorry, got distracted, what was the focus again?