December 20, 1980. On bitterly cold morning in Lengby, Minnesota, a man opened his back door to find his 19-year-old neighbor, Jean Hilliard, lying in the snow. She was literally frozen solid.
The night before, the temperature was twenty-five degrees below zero.
It was then that her ordeal began, as she was returning to her parents' home near Lengby, Minn. The family car skidded off the road on the edge of the White Earth Indian Reservation and stalled in the windy, frigid weather.
Clad in western boots, a coat and mittens, she began walking to Wally Nelson's home two miles away and collapsed only 15 feet from his door.
Mr. Nelson found her as walked out the door at 7 o'clock the next morning. Her body was so stiff that Mr. Nelson loaded her ''diagonally'' in the back seat of his car and headed for the hospital.
When she arrived at the Fosston, Minn., hospital, her skin was too hard to pierce with a hypodermic needle. Her temperature was too low to register on a thermometer. Her face was ashen and her eyes were solid and did not respond to light. Thawing Out Process
Her pulse, hardly registering through her frozen skin, was about 12 beats a minute. And her temperature was too low for a thermometer, with a low reading of 88 degrees, 10 degrees below normal. But in several hours, wrapped in an electric heating pad, she began to revive...
To this date it is a case of a largely unexplainable medical miracle.
What makes the human body such an incredible machine that is capable of undergoing such incredible trauma in the cases of some people, but virtually incapable of sustaining even minor injuries in others? Her family at least partially attributes divine intervention. Still, is there another possible explanation here? Is it possible Jean's body actually had some form of mutation within it that allowed her to survive the extreme cold? Since the destruction of cells is one of the things that is holding cryogenic technology back, study into matters such as this might warrant further investigation.
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