Dying frozen seems to be terrible. And if not ask Jack, star of Titanic (1997). Unfortunately, throughout history many people have almost died in this way (and many others have died for this reason). In fact, nothing suggested what was about to happen to Jean Hilliard on December 20, 1980 when his car went off the icy road one night in Lengby, Minnesota. The young woman decided to get out of the car and that led to a state of hypothermia and freezing which, luckily, survived . But let’s not get too far ahead, let’s see what the story of Hilliard was like.
As we said, the car that Jean was driving went off the road and fell into a ditch. The landscape sounded familiar to her and thought it was near the house of a friend of hers , Wally Nelson. Therefore, he decided to get out of the car to try to reach the place where Nelson lived and thus ask for help. However, he did not calculate well the distance he was from the house and it took longer than he thought, they explain in IFLScience . “I was more frustrated than scared,” she commented
Unfortunately, shortly before reaching Nelson’s front door, Jean collapsed, frozen a few feet from her objective. The next morning Wally found her completely freezing , even her eyes were frozen. In addition, it was as rigid as a board, as explained by the friend. That made it more difficult to transport it. In fact, he had to put it at the rear of the car diagonally.
Almost died of frostbite from hypothermia
She arrived so frozen that they couldn’t even puncture her skin and she had only 12 beats per minute. The hospital thermometers didn’t even pick up her temperature. “The body was cold, completely solid, like a piece of meat out of a freezer,” said Dr. George Sather , who treated her, according to IFLScience .
But as we said before, despite arriving in this situation, Jean went ahead. At first the doctors were not very optimistic about the situation; but they worked anyway to get it done. And they succeeded. They started with some heating pads and little by little Jean was defrosting , although this term is not exact. In the end he came out of the hospital and only had his toes still frozen, but they had considered amputating his legs. Luckily for Jean, it was not necessary and everything, even the toes, returned to normal.
In this case we cannot say that Jean reached freeze for real. This is because when a person’s cells actually freeze , they are damaged and often destroyed because they crystallize like ice. And this is why we have not yet managed to freeze people to long term .
Therefore, Jean did not really freeze. Although she was hypothermic and in a state that, had it lasted longer, would have killed her; His body and circulation slowed down, so he was able to survive on much less oxygen, getting enough. Luckily, she got rid of freezing to death.
In short, you have to be very careful with icy roads because they can play tricks on us.