Here's How Jean Hilliard Came Back To Life After Freezing Solid For 6 Hours!

The Miracle Girl From Lengby, Minnesota, Was Frozen, Thawed – And Woke Up!

⌻ This picture has been taken from a theatrical coverage of Jean Hilliard's story
Jean Hilliard, a 19-year-old teenager from Lengby, Minnesota, who was the survivor of a severe 6-hour freezing at -30°C. This strange and unbelievable story really happened in rural northwestern Minnesota, United States.

At the bleak midnight of December 20, 1980, when Jean was driving home from the town, after spending a few time with some of her friends, she faced an accident that resulted in car failure due to the sub-zero temperature. Actually, she was getting late so she took a shortcut on an icy gravel road just south of Lengby, and it was her dad's Ford LTD with rear wheel drive, and it had no anti-lock brakes. Therefore, it slid into the trench.

Jean knew a guy named Wally Nelson down the road, who was her boyfriend, Paul's best friend at that time. So, she started walking for his house, which was about two miles away. It was 20 below that night, and she was wearing cowboy boots. At a time, she became so confused and frustrated to find the house. However, after two miles of walking, around 1am, she finally saw her friend's house through the trees. Then she said, everything went black!

Later, people told her she'd made it to her friend's yard, tripped, and crawled on her hands and knees to her friend's doorstep. But her body became so futile in the frosty weather that she collapsed 15 feet outside of his door. Then in the next morning around 7am, when the temperature had already dropped down to −30°C, Nelson found her “frozen solid” after being in such extreme cold for six straight hours with her eyes wide open. He grabbed her by the collar and skidded her into the porch. Though, Jean doesn't remember any of that.

At first, Nelson thought she was dead but when he saw a few bubbles coming out of her nose, he got it that the soul was still living in her frozen stiff body. Then he immediately transported her to the Fosston Hospital, that is about 10 minutes from Lengby.

Jean's face was ashen and eyes were absolutely solid with no response to light. Her pulse was slowed to approximately 12 beats per minute. Doctors did not have high hopes for her life. They said her skin was so hard that they couldn't pierce it with a hypodermic needle to get an IV, and her body temperature was too low to register on a thermometer. They figured she was mostly dead already. She was wrapped in an electric blanket and was left on god.

⌻ Jean Hilliard, centre, rests in the Fosston hospital after she miraculously survived six hours in -22℃ temperature on December 21, 1980. Photo Courtesy: Vickie Kettlewell via StarTribune
Jean's family gathered in prayer, hoping for a miracle. Two hours later by midmorning, she went into violent convulsions and regained consciousness. She was perfectly fine, mentally and physically, although a bit confused. Even the frostbite was slowly disappearing from her legs to the doctor’s amazement. After 49 days of treatment, she amazingly left the hospital without even losing a finger and with no permanent damage to the brain or body. Her recovery was described as “A Miracle”. It seems like god kept her alive in such deadliest condition.

However, it has been suggested that due to having alcohol in her system, her organs remained unfrozen, which prevented any permanent damage to her body in that fatal condition. Whereas, David Plummer, the professor of emergency medicine from the University of Minnesota put forth another theory regarding Jean Hilliard's miracle recovery. He's an expert at reviving people with extreme hypothermia. According to him, as a person's body cools down, its blood flow slows way down, requiring less oxygen like a form of hibernation. If their blood flow increases at the same rate as their body warms up, they can often recover as Jean Hilliard did.
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