An Amazing Minnesota Story: Woman Survives Freezing Solid
The weather forecast for Minnesota looks to put us back in the deep freeze as the Bold North heads into the Super Bowl weekend. And while it's going to be cold, it's not quite as cold as when this amazing story took place. Can you really freeze solid? This Minnesota woman did nearly 40 years ago, and survived to tell the tale!
It's the story of one Minnesota woman who spent 6 hours outside in the Minnesota winter when temperatures had dipped to nearly 25 below. And she survived. The story isn't new, it happened back in 1980 and has been featured on the show 'Unsolved Mysteries.'
Here's the story: Jean Hilliard was 19-years-old when her car slid into the ditch and forced her to try to walk home one bitterly cold winter night near Lengby, Minnesota, about 5 and half hours northwest of Rochester. But she ended up passing out on her neighbor's porch, where she remained for 6 hours in the 25 below zero weather.
When her neighbor found her and called for an ambulance, she was frozen solid-- literally. This MPR story says she was unconscious with severe frostbite-- so severe, her limbs literally would not move, and doctors couldn't even get an IV into her frozen arm.
The medical team at the small Fosston Hospital feared the worst, but started warming her with heating pads-- somewhat antiquated by today's medical practices-- and somehow, Jean managed to wake up the next day. She would eventually go on to make a full recovery, too-- though she did spend a lengthy 49 days in the hospital.
These days, Jean lives in Cambridge, and still can't remember all the details of that fateful night. But she probably agrees with that line from the movie, Frozen. You know, the one about how "The cold never bothered me anyway,"?
You can read more about this miraculous Minnesota winter story from Unsolved Mysteries HERE.