A woman with hypothermia survives a cardiac arrest of more than six hours, and without neurological damage
When Audrey arrived at Vall d'Hebron hospital , her body was at 20.2 degrees. Three hours ago his heart had stopped beating. Her husband, Rohan Schoeman, who had gone out with her early in the morning from the shelter of Coma de Vaca for what should be a great mountain day, before they were surprised by the snowstorm, and that she had stayed next to his body until the rescue team arrived , he was convinced that he had died.
Eleven days later, Audrey, 34, left the hospital on her own. His heart, which was more than six and a half hours stopped, beats again normally. To the surprise of the doctors who saved her, she has no neurological sequela . He also has no memory of that Sunday, November 3. Only a lack of sensitivity and coordination in the fingers that has forced her to buy new pants because for now she cannot fasten the buttons.
This is the first known case of a person who survives a heart attack by hypothermia in the Pyrenees Until now they were considered dead and were not trying to revive them. The rescue involved three helicopters, four ambulances and about forty people, and dramatic scenes were lived in which everything was about to break down.
At least two of the specialists who intervened in the operation had to insist to try to save Audrey when his colleagues told them that there was nothing left to do. Professionals of the Bombers of the Generalitat, of the Servei d'Emergències Mèdiques (SEM) and of the Vall d'Hebron hospital who worked in their rescue and healing defend that this experience invites to establish a protocol of action before the victims of hypothermia.
Audrey and Rohan, both English teachers living in Barcelona since 2017, had planned the departure weeks before. It was "the way to celebrate our anniversary," says Rohan, because they have just completed six years of marriage. They got married on October 16, but waited until November 1 to have a three-day weekend. “We love walking on the mountain,” explains Audrey, who has been twice in the Himalayas.
On Friday, they reached Núria on the rack railway and from there they walked to the shelter of Coma de Vaca, located in an idyllic spot at 2,000 meters. On Saturday, together with two friends, Lucy and Judith, they went on an 18-kilometer excursion to climb the Bastiments peak and go back to sleep at the shelter.Keep reading the news in La Vanguardia