In May 2000, Dr. Anna Bagenholm, 29, was skiing on a familiar trail outside Narvik, Norway, when she lost control and fell headfirst into an icy river. Her head and body became stuck under thick ice, but she managed to find an air pocket so that she could continue to breathe.


After 40 minutes of trying to free herself, the exhausted woman was in the throes of hypothermia. Her companions found her, but it took them another 40 minutes to break the ice and drag her out of the freezing water. By this time, her body temperature had dropped to just 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and her vital signs were so low that she was clinically dead.


Thankfully, emergency doctors managed to revive her by pumping her blood through a special machine that warmed it. After several months of rehabilitation, she was back to her normal health, except for a persistent tingling sensation in her hands.


This case led to the development of therapeutic hypothermia as a protective procedure for some epileptic and stroke patients.

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