LONDON (CNN) – A British woman has made a full recovery after suffering a six-hour cardiac arrest caused by hypothermia, according to CNN.
Audrey Schoeman, 34, was caught in a snowstorm while hiking in the Pyrenees mountain range. Her husband Rohan called emergency services when she passed out, according to a statement from Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona.
“I thought she was dead,” Rohan told local broadcasters.
Doctor Jordi Riera told CNN that the human brain usually suffers irreparable damage if the heart stops beating for just five minutes.
“What happened to her is a consequence of the drop in body temperature,” Riera said.
He explained that Schoeman made a miraculous recovery because the extreme drop in body temperature, that stopped her heart, also slowed her brain metabolism allowing her organs to cope with lack of oxygen.
Schoeman’s body temperature dropped 64 degrees Fahrenheit and the hospital team used a breathing machine to keep her alive.
The machine replaced the function of Schoeman’s heart and lungs.
Riera said her body slowly warmed up and they were able to get her heart beating again after six hours.
“She woke up and asked: ‘What am I doing here?'” said Riera.
Schoeman will be returning to work on Monday, just one month after the incident.
“It’s like a miracle except I think it’s all because of the doctors,” she said