Skier Anna Bagenholm Froze to Death and Lived

Back From The Dead After being trapped under ice.

Anna Elisabeth Johansson Bågenholm (born 1970) is a Swedish radiologist from Vänersborg, who survived after a skiing accident in 1999 left her trapped under a layer of ice for 80 minutes in freezing water. During this time she became a victim of extreme hypothermia and her body temperature decreased to 13.7 °C (56.7 °F), the lowest survived body temperature ever recorded in a human with accidental hypothermia until fellow Swede Stella, 7 years old, survived 13.0 °C (55.4 °F) at Christmas 2010. Bågenholm was able to find an air pocket under the ice, but suffered circulatory arrest after 40 minutes in the water.

After rescue, Bågenholm was transported by helicopter to the Tromsø University Hospital, where a team of more than a hundred doctors and nurses worked in shifts for nine hours to save her life. Bågenholm woke up ten days after the accident, paralyzed from the neck down and subsequently spent two months recovering in an intensive care unit. Although she has made an almost full recovery from the incident, late in 2009 she was still suffering from minor symptoms in hands and feet related to nerve injury. Bågenholm's case has been discussed in the leading British medical journal The Lancet, and in medical textbooks.

Anna Bågenholm was skiing in the mountains outside of Narvik with two of her colleagues, Marie Falkenberg and Torvind Næsheim. An expert skier, Bågenholm often skied after work. On this day, as she was heading down a steep mountainside—a route she had taken several times before—she lost control of her skis. She fell headfirst onto a layer of ice on a frozen stream near a waterfall, landing on her back. A hole opened up in the ice and Bågenholm's head and torso were pulled in as meltwater filled her clothes. Her body became trapped under the ice, which was 20 centimetres (7.9 in) thick. When Falkenberg and Næsheim found Bågenholm, only her feet and skis were above the ice.



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