Mother-of-two has miracle escape after freezing
Published: April 1, 2008 | 6978th good news item since 2003
A UK mother who almost froze to death when she became trapped in a ravine overnight is making an astonishing recovery.
Mandy Evans, 43, has been nicknamed the “Ice Maiden” after she managed to survive her body temperature plummeting by a third.
Emergency crews found her nine hours after she fell and airlifted her to hospital suffering from severe hypothermia.
Her temperature had dropped to a mere 25c (77f) from the normal 37c (98.6f).
Once below 30c (86f) major organs fail and the person is likely to die.
Doctors at Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor, North Wales, said Mrs Evans was the coldest patient they had ever treated.
“Mandy was critically ill when she was brought into accident and emergency,” said Dr Linda Dykes.
“The mortality rate for hypothermia when the temperature’s that low is very high.”
Mrs Evans was looking for her son Scott, 17, near their home in the early hours when she slipped on ice and fell into the ravine.
The mother of two was trapped for nine hours before she was found the next morning.
Doctors slowly heated her up by giving her warmed oxygen and liquids.
Dr Dykes added: “We passed warm air over blankets while we checked for other injuries she had received in the fall. Mandy’s recovery made our day.”
Mrs Evans from Wenallt, Dolgellau, North Wales, is expected to spend another week in hospital.
“I just want to thank everyone – I was so cold they nearly lost me twice,” she said.
“I’ve been told I’m in the record books now.
“The doctors say it’s amazing I’ve recovered so quickly.”
Mrs Evans, a care worker, said she fell down the ravine while she looked for her son at 2am. It is not known why she was looking for him or when he returned to the family home.
“I thought I saw Scott go up a path so I went after him. I lost my footing on the path and fell into a tree.
“I was hanging on to it upside down and trying to pull myself up.
“I thought to myself: “If I fall I will be dead”.
My clothes ripped and I fell. I ended up half in the river with my head on the rock.”
After she had been missing for several hours her family contacted the police.
Officers with dogs and a police helicopter with a thermal imaging camera were used in the search.
She was found at 11am.
The sheer drop of the ravine into the river Arran and surrounding thick woodland with overhanging trees hampered the rescue operation.
Rescue workers eventually had to carry Mrs Evans across the river to get her to the waiting RAF helicopter which took her to hospital.