A BRITISH woman was sensationally brought back to life after her heart stopped beating for six hours in a miraculous rescue operation in Spain.
Audrey Schoeman, 34, caught severe hypothermia and went into cardiac arrest while hiking in the Spanish Pyrenees with her husband in early November.
During the hike they got caught in a snow storm, and Schoeman collapsed.
Her husband Rohan panicked when he failed to find a pulse or breath after she collapsed, he told a Friday press conference.
“I thought she was said dead because I was trying to feel for her pulse, my fingers were also numb so I wasn’t sure if it was my fingers,” Rohan Schoeman said.
Hypothermia occurs when a person is exposed to extreme cold, and the body loses heat faster than it can generate it. It makes the person’s blood vessels to constrict , and kicks their metabolism into overdrive.
Rescue workers arrived two hours later to find Audrey Schoeman’s body temperature had fallen to 18 degrees Celsius (64.4 degrees Fahrenheit), and immediately transported her to the nearby Vall D’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, the BBC reported.
Adults should have an average body temperature of 37 Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit).
While at the hospital doctors used a specialized machine to remove Schoeman’s blood, infuse it with oxygen, and pump it back through her body, Reuters reported.
Doctors then waited until Schoeman’s temperature reached 30 Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) before using a defibrillator to get her heart beating again, Reuters said. This was about six hours after her heart stopped breathing.
It had been the longest cardiac arrest ever recorded in Spain, Sky News reported, citing doctors at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital.
Schoeman was released from the hospital 12 days later, with only some lingering issues with the mobility and sensitivity of her hands due to the hypothermia, Reuters reported.